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Battle of Rhode Island

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

A ministerial paper, printed in Newport, of the 3d of September, gives the following account of this action: Last Saturday morning it being discovered that the rebels had dismantled their redoubts opposite to our lines, Sir Robert Pigot gave orders for the grenadiers and light infantry, with the Hessian chasseurs, to advance, which they did with their usual alacrity, being supported by the 22d, 43d, Brown’s and Fanning’s regiments, with the regiment De Huyne and two regiments of Anspach. It was discovered as they advanced that the rebels had been for several days removing their stores and heavy cannon to the north end of the island. The troops met with little opposition till they had advanced some miles, when they were fired upon from behind stone walls by large parties of the rebels posted to annoy them. But these obstacles were soon removed by the ardor of the troops, who rushed on with such impetuosity, that the rebels were soon obliged to betake themselves to their last post, which was upon Windmill Hill, so strongly fortified and so commanding a spot, that Brigadier-General Smith thought it most prudent to check the progress of the troops, (who had been already fatigued by so long a march,) and to take post on Quaker Hill. The troops remained in this situation all the next day, in hopes the rebels would feel bold enough to renew the attack, which they, however, declined, and took themselves off on Sunday night, leaving their barracks in good order.

The loss of the rebels on this occasion is supposed to be between three and four hundred killed and wounded.

Thus ended the third expedition to Rhode Island, so greatly to the honor of Mr. Sullivan, that there is no doubt he will be enrolled among the heroes of New England.

Such was the bravery of the troops engaged, British, Hessians, and Anspach, that they appeared to vie with each other in their exertions against the enemy.1

1 Rivington’s Royal Gazette, September 16.

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