Translation of Document from the Department d'Archives de la Charente-Maritime
On January 27, 1698 was baptised Pierre Archal and is born the same day illigitimate son of Pierre Archal, "tambour" of the Company of Mr. Chavagnac and of Elizabeth Jagnet, godfather Pierre Duteau , godmother Jeanne Ferrest who have declared not knowing how to sign their names
Done by me, Dufau, priest
Le 27 janvier 98 a este baptise Pierre Archal et est ne le mesme jour fils illigitime de Pierre Archal tambout de la Campagnie de Messire Chavagnac et de Elisabeth Jagnet, parrain Pierre Duteau, marraine Jeanne Ferrest qui ont declare ne scavoir signer.
Fait par moy
PIERRE SAILED TO FORT TOULOUSE IN ALABAMA AS A MEMBER OF A COMPANY OF "TROUPES DE MARINE" OR WHAT WE WOULD CALL MARINES.
RECORDS SHOWS THAT PIERRE RACHAL WAS A SOLDIER IN ST DENIS' ARMY HE WAS SENT FROM FRANCE ALONG WITH OTHER SOLDIERS TO NATCHITOCHES TO ESTABLISH A POST AT NATCHITOCHES. HE REMAINED IN MILITARY SERVICE THE REST OF HIS LIFE, DYING WHILE ON MANOUVERS IN MISSISSIPPI.
RACHAL, Pierre, dit St. Denis, soldier, pioneer. Born, Saint-Denis, Isle d'Oléron, France, January 27, 1698; son of Pierre Rachal, Sr., a drummer in the Marine company of Henri Louis de Chavignac stationed at Rochefort, and of Elisabeth Jaguet. Emigrated from Rochefort with a contingent of soldiers dispatched on the Ludlow and the Paon to man Fort Toulouse in present-day Alabama; transferred from that post to Natchitoches in late 1721 or early 1722; spent remaining years as a habitant and a corporal in the reserve company of the marines at Natchitoches. Married, ca. 1722, Marie Anne Benoist (b. 1697), daughter of Michel Benoist who in 1720 had been exiled to the colony, aboard the Mutine, for a period of five years. Children: Louis dit Blondin (b. 1722); Jean Claude (b. ca. 1724); Elisabeth (b. 1729); Barthélémy dit Le Rat (b. 1732); Jacques dit St. Denis (b. 1735); Marie Louise (b. 1737); Marie Jeanne (b. 1739). Died on a military expedition to Natchez, 1756. E.S.M. Sources: Elizabeth Shown Mills, Natchitoches, 1729-1803 (1977); Mills, Natchitoches Colonials (1981); Pierre Heinrich, La Louisiane sous la Compagnie des Indes, 1717 à 1731 (1903; reprint ed., 1970); Rachal family papers, in possession of the author.
Île-d'Aix is located at the mouth of the Charente River, salut les aixois, between l'Ile d'Oléron and the coast of mainland France. The island is also close to Fort Boyard. In 1665, the nearby Rochefort was established as a strategic harbour for the Kingdom, prompting many fortification to be built in the area.