battle_of_rhode_island_pic..jpgThe Battle of Rhode Island-An American or British Victory?

In Aquidneck Island (Rhode Island) on August 29, 1778 the battle of Rhode Island began. This battle was an attempt to recapture Aquidneck Island from the British. Fighting in the Battle of Rhode Island were the colonies of the United States against Great Britain and their ally Hesse-Kassel.

General Robert Pigot, commander for the British troops, decided to redeploy his troops in a defensive position in and around Newport. The Continental Army's plan for a strategic offensive position suffered.The Battle began with the crossing at Howland's Ferry with 11,000 Continental line troops and militia. American generals decided to establish a defensive line after their plan of an offensive strategy suffered. By doing so they hoped to keep the British from the high ground in the northern section. The Americans put their forces On the west, and on the east. On the west the courageous General Nathanael Greene gathered his sufficient troops in front of Turkey Hill. On the east, the powerful Brigadier General John Glover gathered his troops behind a stone overlooking Quaker Hill. American commanders thought that being near the Quaker Hill was important. It would give them a higher elevation, giving them an advantage over the British.The British had a similar strategy, also sent their troops to the east and the west. Hessian general, Friedrich Wilhelm von Lossberg, was sent up the west road. British army major general, Francis Smith, was sent up the east. General Freodrich and Fransis were given orders, by the powerful and bright Sir Robert Pigot, not to make a general attack. This lead to the main battle. In late 1776 The British armies occupied Newport . French forces then quickly moved past Newport Harbor on August 9th. By the next day the diligent American Army moved onto Aquidneck Island. French forces were already stationed there on Aquidneck Island. British forces lured the French troops away from Newport on the 10th. Eighteen days later the American Army began to retreat north. By the 29th of August British troops chase the retreating American Army north and the British advance to Quaker Hill. By advancing to Quaker Hill the British claimed the hill and were stationed there. Hessian mercianaries attacked but were defeated by the 1st Rhode Island Regiment. The 1st regiment was not expected to defeat anyone, especially the authentic Hessians. On August 30, 1778 the American Army retreated onto the mainland.The battle ended unsettled, both the United States and Great Britain claimed they won the battle. The British captured land from the Americans. The Americans did, however, win some of it back. The Americans think they won because they won some of the land back. The Continental forces withdrew to Bristol and Tiverton on August 31. This left Aquidneck Island under British control. The Continental Army had to give up on their hopes of capturing and securing Narragansett Bay for American and French ships. Of the United States Continental Army 30 men were killed, 137 wounded and 44 went missing. Of the British army 38 soldiers were killed, 210 wounded and and 12 went missing.


Unknown.jpegThe Commanders
The commander for the colonies of the United States was John Sullivan. John was born on February 17, 1740 in New Hampshire. He was apart of the Federalist party. John had a lot of experience with government and battle. John was a delegate in the continental congress and a United States federal judge. John Sullivan served in the battle of Fort Mary and William, the battle of Long Island, the battle Trenton, the battle of Princeton and finally was the commander of the battle of Rhode Island. Sir Robert Pigot commanded the British troops. He was born in London, England in 1720. Sir Robert Pigot had experience with government and battle. He was a major in the 10th Foot Regiment. He was a British army officer during the Revolutionary War. He commanded the left side of the British attack at the battle of Bunker Hill.

The First Regiment
The First Regiment of Rhode Island allowed enrollment for African Americans in 1778. The reason for this recruitment or enrollment was because not enough white men were being recruited or enrolled in the Continental Army. Like all of the regiments, Rhode Island's first regiment formed by a colonial or state government. Before it became known as the 1st regiment it was called Varnum's regiment. On May 8, 1775 Colonel James Varnum organized the regiment. The regiment was rearranged and became known at the 9th regiment. Once again the regiment was rearranged. On January 1, 1777 the regiment became known as 1st Regiment of Rhode island. The 1st Rhode Island Regiment became the only regiment of the Continental Army to have segregated companies of black soldiers. There were about 225 men in the regiment. They soon became known as the "Black Regiment". The commander of this regiment was Colonel Christopher Greene.

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1. Why is do the British think they won the Battle of Rhode Island? Why do the Americans think they won?
2. Why is the First Regiment important?
3. What was the pupose of the battle of Rhode Island? (What were the Americans trying to do?)