From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.
August 30.—This morning the American army pitched their tents on the front of Butt’s Hill, on Rhode Island, when a heavy cannonade commenced, and has continued through the whole day. At seven this evening a picket was posted in advance of the first line, and a chain of sentinels formed from the east to the west river. In consequence of authentic intelligence received, that Lord Howe, with his fleet, had sailed from Sandy Hook, and that from the best information one hundred and fifty sail of transports were in the Western Sound, with five thousand troops, bound to Newport, a council was called, who were unanimously of opinion, (considering the situation of the army, the absence of the fleet, and the momentary expectation of the enemy’s receiving a strong reinforcement of troops, with a number of ships,) that the island should be evacuated, which has been completed in perfect order and safety, not leaving behind the smallest article of provision, camp equipage, or military stores.1
1 This evacuation was completed the same evening, and the next morning at seven o’clock the British fleet appeared off Point Judith.—New Hampshire Gazette, September 15.