So Nicolas Brisky of Lorraine joined Lauzun’s hussars in 1778, went to New England, fought a bit, and deserted in 1782 in Virginia at age 22 to reap the socioagrarian benefits of the south. He settled in Abbeville, South Carolina where he married into a happy little family of ex-loyalists.
- Abbeville is 350 miles from Charlotte Court House, VA where he deserted.
- Abbeville is also 350 miles (in the other direction) from St. Augustine, FL, a Loyalist haven where many foreign troops congregated.
There’s a 7-year gap between Brisky’s desertion and marriage record that no one can account for, and I can’t help but wonder if maybe he wandered down to Florida to be among Franco-Germanic brethren before leaving in 1784 when the area was returned to Spain.
Do I have a twig to stand on here? I’m really hard-pressed for evidence of Lauzun’s hussars in the south, but given the unit’s 20% desertion rate, I figure at least one moseyed his way down to Florida. And if Brisky made the 350-mile hike from his place of desertion to South Carolina, there’s no reason why he wouldn’t be able to travel the same distance further south.