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.
The first skirmish in the Battle of Rhode Island was around 7AM on August, 29, 1778.
Early the morning of August, 29, 1778, British General Pigot sent General Smith up the East (Main) Road toward Quaker Hill.
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.
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.
Sullivan justifies the retreat:
“Lord Howe and his fleet were approaching…”
We are fortunate to have eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Rhode Island. One of those accounts is by Lieut.-Colonel Samuel Ward, Junior.
August 30th. “A Cloudy morning and the wind very high it rained a Considerable in the night the Enemy Remained on their Ground this morning two English friggats Came up yesterday
The skirmishes around Lehigh Hill have taken on importance because of the presence of the Black Regiment.
Action in the Battle of Rhode Island took place along what we call East and West Main Roads. It was the East Road and West Road to them. Sometimes there were two or more actions going on at approximately the same time.