Liveblogging the Cold War: August 21, 1946: The Marshall Mission to China
Liveblogging the Cold War: August 23, 1946: Eleanor Roosevelt

Liveblogging the American Revolution: August 22, 1778: Battle of Rhode Island

Wikipedia: Battle of Rhode Island:

Since d'Estaing's fleet outnumbered Howe's, the French admiral, fearful that Howe would be further reinforced and eventually gain a numerical advantage, reboarded the French troops, and sailed out to do battle with Howe on August 10. As the two fleets prepared to battle and maneuvered for position, the weather deteriorated, and a major storm broke out. Raging for two days, the storm scattered both fleets, severely damaging the French flagship. It also frustrated plans by Sullivan to attack Newport without French support on August 11.

While Sullivan awaited the return of the French fleet, he began siege operations, moving closer to the British lines on August 15 and opening trenches to the northeast of the fortified British line north of Newport the next day.

As the two fleets sought to regroup, individual ships encountered enemy ships, and there were several minor naval skirmishes; two French ships (including d'Estaing's flagship), already suffering storm damage, were badly mauled in these encounters. The French fleet regrouped off Delaware, and returned to Newport on August 20, while the British fleet regrouped at New York.

Admiral d'Estaing, despite pressure from his captains to immediately sail for Boston to make repairs, instead sailed for Newport to inform the Americans he would not be able to assist them. Upon his arrival on August 20, he informed Sullivan, and rejected entreaties that, with their help, the British could be compelled to surrender in just one or two days. Of the decision, d'Estaing wrote:

It was ... difficult to persuade oneself that about six thousand men well entrenched and with a fort before which they had dug trenches could be taken either in twenty-four hours or in two days.

Any thought of the French fleet remaining at Newport was also opposed by d'Estaing's captains, with whom he had a difficult relationship due to his arrival in the navy at a high rank after service in the French army. D'Estaing sailed for Boston on August 22.

The French decision brought on a wave of anger in both the American rank and file, and its commanders. Although General Greene penned a complaint that John Laurens termed "sensible and spirited", General Sullivan was less diplomatic. In a missive containing much inflammatory language, he called d'Estaing's decision "derogatory to the honor of France", and included further complaints in orders of the day that were later suppressed when cooler heads prevailed. American writers from the ranks called the French decision a "desertion", and noted that the French forces involved "left us in a most Rascally manner".

The French departure prompted a mass exodus of the American militia, significantly shrinking the American force...