From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.
August 23.—The French fleet returned to Rhode Island on Thursday last, (20th,) but had suffered so considerably in the late storm, together with some slight engagement with the enemy, that they judged it necessary to retire in order to refit; in consequence of which resolution, the whole fleet sailed for Boston yesterday. General Sullivan, with the other general officers, were of opinion that they had not suffered to such a degree but that they were capable of sufficiently co-operating with the Americans in the reduction of Newport, without danger to the fleet; consequently the general, in the name of all the general officers of his army, protested against the count’s withdrawing with his fleet and army at this critical juncture, as this expedition would not have been undertaken at this time, had it not been for the assurance he had given of assisting the American army to the utmost of his power.1
1 New York Gazette, September 21.