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Encyclopedia > Battle of Rhode Island
Battle of Rhode Island
Part of American Revolutionary War
Date August 29, 1778
Location Aquidneck Island, Rhode Island
Result Tactical impasse; Americans failed their strategic objective
Combatants
United States British
Commanders
John Sullivan Robert Pigot
Strength
10,100 7,139
Casualties
30 killed, 137 wounded, 44 missing 38 killed, 210 wounded, 12 missing

The Battle of Rhode Island, also known as the Battle of Quaker Hill, took place on August 29, 1778, when units of the Continental Army under the command of John Sullivan attempted to recapture Aquidneck Island, also known as Rhode Island (rather than the state of Rhode Island), from British forces. The battle ended inconclusively, but the Continental Army had to give up its goal of capturing the island and securing Narragansett Bay for American and French ship traffic. This article is about military actions only. ... is the 241st day of the year (242nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1778 (MDCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Aquidneck Island highlighted in red Aquidneck Island, also called Rhode Island, is the largest island in Narragansett Bay. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... John Sullivan (b. ... Sir Robert Pigot, Baronet (1720 – August 1, 1796) was a British Army officer during the American Revolutionary War. ... The Northern theater of the American Revolutionary War after Saratoga consisted of a series of battles between the American revolutionaries and British forces, from 1778 through 1781 in what are now the New England and Mid-Atlantic states of the United States. ... The Battle of Cobleskill (Cobleskill massacre) occurred on May 30-June 1, 1778, in Cobleskill, New York. ... Combatants Britain United States Commanders Colonel John Butler Colonel Zebulon Butler Strength 900 regulars and Native American warriors 360 milita Casualties 3 killed 8 wounded 300+ killed and captured (164+6 known dead) The Wyoming Valley battle and massacre was an encounter during the American Revolutionary War between American Patriots... Combatants Britain United States Commanders Unknown Colonel Hunter The Big Runaway occurred in 1778, during the American Revolutionary War, when settlements throughout the West Branch Susquehanna Valley in Pennsylvania in what became the United States were attacked by Loyalists and Native Americans allied with the British. ... On September 17, 1778 during the American Revolution, German Flatts was attacked by Loyalists and Iroquois. ... Combatants United States and Vermont Republic British Commanders Seth Warner Christopher Carleton Strength unknown number of local militia 454 soldiers plus sailors on the ships Casualties 79 captured, unknown killed and wounded 1 killed, 17 missing and 1 wounded On October 24, 1778 with snow already on the ground but... Incident in Cherry Valley - fate of Jane Wells from the original picture by Alonzo Chappel by Thomas Phillibrown, engraver. ... Combatants United States British Commanders Anthony Wayne Henry Johnson Strength 1,350 700 Casualties 15 killed, 83 wounded 63 killed, 70 wounded, 543 prisoners The Battle of Stony Point was a battle of the American Revolutionary War. ... The Battle of Minisink, which commenced on July 22, 1779 at Minisink Ford in Orange County, New York during the American Revolution was one of the most bloody and decisive battles of the War where Loyalists and Iroquois under the leadership of Joseph Brant, a Mohawk who was a Colonel... Combatants Britain United States Commanders Colonel Francis McLean General Solomon Lovell and Captain Dudley Saltonstall Strength 600 regulars 1,000 regulars, 43 warships Casualties 13 killed and wounded 474 killed, wounded, and captured; all ships lost The Penobscot Expedition was the largest American naval expedition of the American Revolutionary War... The Sullivan Expedition, also known as the Sullivan-Clinton Expedition, was a campaign led by Major General John Sullivan and General James Clinton against Loyalists (Tories) and the four nations of the Iroquois who had sided with the British in the American Revolutionary War. ... The Battle of Newtown (29 August 1779) was the only major battle of the Sullivan Expedition, an armed offensive led by Gen. ... Combatants United States Great Britain Hessians Commanders Nathanael Greene Wilhelm von Knyphausen Strength 2,050 6,000 Casualties 15 killed, 40 wounded 25–50 or more killed {Note the appendix to The Hessians gives possible casualites estimates as being 25 killed, 75 wounded} The Battle of Springfield was a battle... Combatants Albany County Militia Tryon County militia Kings Royal Regiment of New York Butlers Rangers Brants Volunteers 34th Regiment of Foot Commanders Brigadier General Robert Van Rensselaer John Johnson Strength 3037 800 to 1500 On October 19, 1780 after destroying the area around Stone Arabia, John Johnson... Combatants United States Britain Commanders William Ledyard † Benedict Arnold, Eyre Strength about 150 militia about 800 regulars Casualties 150+ 51 killed, 142 wounded The Battle of Groton Heights was a battle of the American Revolutionary War. ... Combatants Militia 120 Kings Royal Regiment of New York 150 Butlers Rangers 130 Iroquois 100 34th Regiment of Foot 40 Lakes Corp 25 8th Regiment of Foot 12 Yaegar Commanders Colonel Marinus Willet Major John Ross, Captain Walter Butler Strength about 500 about 670 Casualties 12 killed... is the 241st day of the year (242nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1778 (MDCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Illustration depicting uniforms and weapons used during the 1779 to 1783 period of the American Revolution by showing four soldiers standing in an informal group General George Washington, was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army on June 15, 1775. ... John Sullivan (b. ... Aquidneck Island highlighted in red Aquidneck Island, also called Rhode Island, is the largest island in Narragansett Bay. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... Narragansett Bay, shown in pink. ...

Contents

Background

French Admiral d'Estaing arrived in the summer of 1778 with a fleet of ships with infantry reinforcements for the war. Since he was unable to cross the bar into New York harbor, French and American leaders decided to deploy the fresh forces in Rhode Island, to expel the British there. Strategically, this would open up the Narragansett Bay for American and French forces and deny it to the British. John Sullivan was put in charge of this offensive. Comte Jean Baptiste Charles Henri Hector d Estaing Portrait by Benson John Lossing in The pictorial field-book of the revolution Comte Jean Baptiste Charles Henri Hector d Estaing Comte Jean Baptiste Charles Henri Hector d Estaing (November 1729 - April 28, 1794) was a French admiral. ... Sand bars in the Mississippi River at Arkansas and Mississippi A bar is a linear shoaling landform feature within a body of water. ...


On Aquidneck Island there were American and British forces remaining in standoff. Colonel Christopher Greene was responsible for assembling the Rhode Island contribution to the Continental Army but was struggling to meet the quota. As a result, General Sullivan had to assemble his force from a variety of sources. Virtually the entire Rhode Island militia was called up and led by William West, and troops from Massachusetts and New Hampshire along with Continental Artillery were called in to supplement the expected French forces. Lebanese Kataeb militia A Militia is an army composed of ordinary [1] citizens to provide defense, emergency or paramilitary service, or those engaged in such activity. ... William West (ca. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... Official language(s) English Capital Concord Largest city Manchester Area  Ranked 46th  - Total 9,350 sq mi (24,217 km²)  - Width 68 miles (110 km)  - Length 190 miles (305 km)  - % water 4. ...


General George Washington sent generals Nathanael Greene and Lafayette to support Sullivan in his efforts to organize his army, but it has since been suggested that Washington was concerned about Sullivan's decision-making abilities. George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799)[1] led Americas Continental Army to victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and in 1789 was elected the first President of the United States of America. ... Charles Willson Peale painted a portrait of General Greene from life in, which was then copied several times by C.W. Peale and his son, Rembrandt Peale. ... Lieutenant General & National Guard Commander-in-Chief Lafayette in 1792 at ~35yrs. ...


Prelude to battle

As American intentions became clear, British General Robert Pigot decided to redeploy his forces in a defensive posture in and around Newport. He also decided to move nearly all livestock into the city, level orchards and houses to provide a clear line of fire, and destroy carriages and wagons. Sir Robert Pigot, Baronet (1720 – August 1, 1796) was a British Army officer during the American Revolutionary War. ... Newport, Rhode Island Newport is a city in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Providence. ...


On August 10, the Continental Army's plans for an offensive on the island suffered a setback when d'Estaing's fleet lifted anchor and left Rhode Island after coming within sight of the landing zone. He intended to engage a british fleet nearby. Sullivan's American troops had preceded him in landing ahead of schedule but were of inadequate strength to defeat the British defensive lines. is the 222nd day of the year (223rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


On August 11 and 12, a heavy storm hit the area and flattened corn fields. This added to the financial loss suffered by Rhode Island residents as a result of the war. After drying off, American forces started redeploying for a siege of Newport. is the 223rd day of the year (224th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 224th day of the year (225th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Before D'estaing could engage the British, His fleet was scattered by a storm, which also wreaked havoc on the American troops in the field.


When d'Estaing and his fleet arrived (after regrouping) on August 20, the ships were heavily damaged by the storm. D'Estaing decided yet again to put off landing infantry force, choosing instead to sail to Boston to repair the ships. Dismayed by this turn of events, Sullivan sent Lafayette to Boston to effect the return of the French troops to the prospective battlefield. This proved fruitless in the end. D'Estaing and Lafayette met fierce criticism in Boston, Lafayette remarking that "I am more upon a warlike footing in the American lines than when I came near the British lines at Newport."[citation needed] is the 232nd day of the year (233rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Nickname: City on the Hill, Beantown, The Hub (of the Universe)1, Athens of America, The Cradle of Revolution, Puritan City, Americas Walking City Location in Massachusetts, USA Counties Suffolk County Mayor Thomas M. Menino(D) Area    - City 232. ...


At the same time, there was news that the British had sent for reinforcements.


By August 28, Sullivan changed his plans to reflect the relative strength of the opposing forces. Under the cloak of darkness, American troops were moved away from their siege positions to defensive positions in the north of the island around Butt's Hill. is the 240th day of the year (241st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Order of battle

British forces

  • Four British infantry regiments 22nd, 38th 43rd, 54th
  • Six Hessian infantry regiments (Landgrave, Huyne, Ditforth, Bunau, Two Anspachs)
  • Three Loyalist infantry regiments Tory infantry: (Wightman, Brown, Fanning)
  • Hessian Chasseurs
  • British, Hessian, and ship-based artillery
  • Royal Marines

Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I Infantry or footmen are very highly disciplined and trained soldiers who fight primarily with small arms(rifles), but are trained to use everything from their bare hands to missle systems in order to neutralize... The 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment is an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Prince of Wales Division. ... 38th Regiment of Foot was a British regiment from 1705 to 1881. ... Two regiments of the British Army have been numbered the 43rd Regiment of Foot: 43rd Regiment of Foot, numbered as the 43rd Foot in 1747 and renumbered as the 42nd in 1749. ... The 54th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army. ... The term Hessian refers to the inhabitants of the German state of Hesse. ... Britannia gives a heros welcome to returning American Loyalists. ... A Chasseur (a French term for hunter) is a soldier, especially one of certain French light infantry or cavalry troops, trained for rapid action. ... The Royal Marines (RM) are the marines and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service [2]. They are also the United Kingdoms amphibious force and specialists in mountain and Arctic warfare. ...

Continental forces

The 1st Rhode Island Regiment also known as 9th Continental Regiment was raised on May 8, 1775 under Colonel James Mitchell Varnum outside of Boston, Massachusetts for service with the Continental Army. ... The 2nd Rhode Island Regiment also known as 11th Continental Regiment was raised on May 8, 1775 under Colonel Hitchcook outside of Boston, Massachusetts for service with the Continental Army. ... The 4th Massachusetts Regiment was raised on April 23, 1775 under Colonel Ebenezer Learned outside of Boston, Massachusetts. ... The 13th Massachusetts Regiment also known as 6th Continental Regiment was raised on April 23, 1775 under Colonel Brewer outside of Boston, Massachusetts. ... The 9th Connecticut Regiment also known as Webbs Additional Continental Regiment was raised on January 11, 1777 at Danbury, Connecticut. ... The 16th Massachusetts Regiment also known as Henry Jacksons Additional Continental Regiment was raised on January 12, 1777 under Colonel Jackson at Boston, Massachusetts. ... The 1st Canadian Regiment was raised on November 19, 1775 at Pointe Oliver, Quebec for service with the Continental Army. ... Langdons Company of Light Horse Volunteers was formed on July 21, 1777 at Portsmouth, New Hampshire for Gen. ... Peabodys New Hampshire State Regiment was raise on January 1, 1778 under Col. ... Hales Regiment of Militia also known as the 15th New Hampshire Militia Regiment was at Fort Ticonderoga during the spring and summer of 1776 reinforcing the Continental Army garrison. ... Nichols Regiment of Militia also known as the 5th New Hampshire Militia Regiment was called up on July 21, 1777 at Winchester, New Hampshire for Gen. ...

Battle

The American generals decided to establish a defensive line across the entire island just south of a valley that cut across the island, hoping thereby to deny the British the high ground in the northern section.


The Americans organized their forces in two sections:

  1. On the west, General Greene concentrated his forces in front of Turkey Hill, but sent the 1st Rhode Island to establish advance positions a half mile (1 km) south under the command of General Varnum.
  2. On the east, Brigadier General John Glover, who concentrated his forces behind a stone wall overlooking Quaker Hill.

The British followed suit and organized their attack in a corresponding way, sending Hessian General Friedrich Wilhelm von Lossberg up the west road and General Francis Smith up the east road with two regiments each under orders to not make a general attack. As it turned out, this advance led to the main battle. James Mitchell Varnum (December 17, 1748– January 10, 1789) was an American lawyer. ... John Glover (November 5, 1732 – January 30, 1797) was an American fisherman, merchant, and military leader from Marblehead, Massachusetts, who served as a brigadier general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. ... Lt Col Francis Smith was the British commander in the Battle of Lexington and Concord Massachusetts on April 19th, 1775. ...


Lossberg's chasseurs were the first to come under fire by American John Laurens's troops, who were shooting under cover of trees. At this point, Pigot decided to send in reinforcements, and it became clear this was the general engagement of the battle. John Laurens (October 28, 1754 - August 27, 1782) was an American soldier and statesman from South Carolina during the Revolutionary War. ...


American troops withdrew from their positions but kept up their fire, slowing the British advance. The Rhode Island Militia under Colonel William West provided cover during the retreat. In a move that is yet to be understood, Sullivan sent a regiment forward along each road during this retreat, causing confusion. William West (ca. ...


The battle involved cannonfire between land and ship positions, attempts at attacks and reinforcements, but by 4 p.m. it had reached an impasse. The Americans stopped their retreat and repulsed several probing attacks. The driving back of these assaults has led some American writers to claim the Battle as a victory for the Patriot forces, even though they had already given a lot of ground to the British. Because most of the shooting had been at long range, there were relatively modest casualties on both sides. The British captured no prisoners except for wounded men left lying by the retreating Patriots. It would appear that all of the 44 Patriots marked down as "missing" were either abandoned wounded or were dead. This would indicate that about 50 Americans were actually killed in this battle.


Although some artillery fire persisted throughout the night, Continental forces withdrew to Bristol and Tiverton on the night of August 31, leaving Aquidneck Island under British control. Nickname: Motto: Official website: http://www. ... This is for the town, for the census designated place, see Tiverton (CDP), Rhode Island Tiverton is a town in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. ... is the 243rd day of the year (244th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


==See also==

  • General William West[Italic text][[Link title[[Link title[[Image:Link title[[Media:Example.oggSubscript text]]]]]]]]

 
 

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