French Arrival and Departure: Introduction

Rochambeau reviewing French Troops in America

On July 29, 1778 a French squadron sailed into Narragansett Bay. It created a military alliance between the United States and France against Great Britain. On the American side it was negotiated by Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee.

Turkey Hill

Turkey Hill Kiosk

At 8 AM the British forces under the command of Von Der Malsburg chased Col. John Laurens and his American troops. There were skirmishes up West (Main) Road as the two sides made contact.

Significant People

The "Surrender of Cornwallis" by John Trumball, U.S. Capital

Some of those young soldiers who fought in the Battle of Rhode Island or participated in the Siege of Newport went on to brilliant careers.

Quaker Hill

Quaker Hill Map. A plan of the northern part of Rhode Island in the township of Portsmouth. 1778. Huntington Library

After a skirmish with Wade’s American forces, British General Smith and the 43rd Regiment pushed up Middle Road while the 22nd Regiment proceeded up East Main Road.

Eyewitness Accounts

Portrait of Mary Almy, Rienzi Collection, Houston

We are fortunate to have eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Rhode Island. One of those accounts is by Lieut.-Colonel Samuel Ward, Junior.