One hundred and eighty-nine years ago, in July 1778, 12 chips of the line and 4 frigates under the command of French Admiral Count D'Estaing were sighted off Rhode Island, They anchored off Newport in a formation which completely closed the harbor, On August 6th, 11 tall French ships approached single file up the channel and under heavy cannonading sailed past the British batteries at Newport. All the British ships which remained in Narragansett bay were sunk or burned to prevent capture.
Hayward, John T.
Naval War College Review: Vol. 20
, Article 1.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol20/iss8/1