Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/118

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were more anxious to eat up our supplies than to make a close acquaintance with the enemy, and I was not mistaken,—they soon disappeared.

A few days after we had disembarked, we opened our trenches before the place, and the works were being pushed on with great activity, when the British fleet appeared before Newport.

Comte d'Estaing at once gave orders to sail; there was little wind, but what there was was favourable. Our fleet defiled majestically in front of the enemy's earthworks; each vessel as she passed gave a broadside of half her guns, amongst them many 24- and 36-pounders, to which the forts replied with their 10- and 12-pounders. Our fleet gave chase to the British, who made all sail. Both fleets were soon lost to sight. We awaited the news of a victory, but our fleet was dispersed by a terrible storm, and the admiral's vessel, the Languedoc, dismasted by the gale, was very nearly captured by the enemy. The César, a vessel of 74 guns, commanded by M. de Raimondis,