Battle of Rhode Island map at Patriot’s Park

Patriots Park
West Main Road at split with Route 24.

This is a memorial to the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, known as the “Black Regiment” located at the junction northbound of Routes 114 and 24. Flagpole commemorates the site where the Black Regiment courageously fought off a Hessian attack, saving the American line, on August 29,
1778 during the Battle of Rhode Island.

The August 30, 1778 diary entry of Liet. Col. Samuel Ward of the First Rhode Island Regiment provides an eyewitness account.
“The army retreated the evening of the 28th. Early yesterday morning, the enemy moved out after us, expecting that we were leaving the island, and took possession of the Heights in our front. They sent out parties in their front, and we made detachments to drive them back again. After a skirmish of three or four hours, with various success, in which each party gave way three or four times, and were reinforced, we drove them quite back to the ground they first took in the morning, and have continued there ever since. Two ships and a couple of small vessels beat up opposite our lines, and fired several shots, but being pretty briskly fired upon from our heavy pieces, they fell down, and now lay opposite the enemy’s lines. Our loss was not very great, it has not been ascertained yet; and I can hardly make a tolerable conjecture. Several officers fell, and several are badly wounded. I am so happy to have only one captain slightly wounded in the hand. I believe that a couple of the blacks were killed and four our five wounded, but none badly. Previous to this, I should have told you our picquets and light corps engaged their advance , and found them with bravery.” Ward believed that “our loss was not very great,” but later estimates were for 500 American deaths and a thousand for the British and Hessians. Ward believed that the British ships had been deterred by the American cannon fire, but the Captain’s log of the HMS Vigilant suggests that the wind direction and shallow depths of the area prevented the ships from reaching Bristol Ferry.