21st. The Count de Rochambeau with the Chevr. de Chastellux arrived about Noon.1 The appearance of the British Fleet (under Adml. Arbuthnot) off Block Island prevented the attendance of the Count de Barras.2
1. François Jean le Beauvoir, chevalier de Chastellux (1734–1788), entered the French army at the age of 13, reaching the rank of colonel by 1759, and serving with some distinction in the Seven Years’ War. After 1763, while he retained his position in the army, his literary activities earned him a place among the Encyclopedists and philosophes (see Howard Rice’s introduction to CHASTELLUX description begins Marquis de Chastellux. Travels in North America in the Years 1780, 1781 and 1782. Translated and edited by Howard C. Rice, Jr. 2 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1963. description ends , 1:1–25). In 1780 Chastellux was promoted to maréchal de camp and named a major general in Rochambeau’s army. He arrived in America in July 1780 with Admiral de Ternay’s fleet, served in the Yorktown campaign, and remained in America until Jan. 1783. His relations with GW were excellent, and they remained in correspondence after the war.
2. Marriot Arbuthnot (c.1711–1794) was an admiral in the British navy and commander of the American station. Baron von Closen, writing at Newport, noted in his journal on 18 May that at “11 o’clock, 10 sails were discovered, which were signalled a little later to be warships. They anchored off Judith Point and Block Island [Rhode Island]” (CLOSEN description begins Evelyn M. Acomb, ed. The Revolutionary Journal of Baron Ludwig von Closen, 1780–1783. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1958. description ends , 79). These were probably ships of the fleet which had sailed from New York on 9 May (see entry for 12 May 1781) to escort British and Hessian troops to the Chesapeake. Frederick Mackenzie noted on 25 May that “There has been no account from the fleet since it sailed from hence. ’Tis supposed that after seeing the transports with the troops for the Chesapeak, safe past the Delaware, the Admiral returned to cruize off Rhode-Island” (MACKENZIE  description begins Diary of Frederick Mackenzie Giving a Daily Narrative of His Military Service as an Officer of the Regiment of Royal Welch Fusiliers during the Years 1775–1781 in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York. 2 vols. Cambridge, Mass., 1930. description ends , 2:530). Barras was reluctant to leave Newport for Wethersfield after the arrival of the British fleet, partly because the French were in daily expectation of the arrival of a convoy from France and he had hoped to sail to meet the French ships (RICE description begins Howard C. Rice, Jr., and Anne S. K. Brown, eds. The American Campaigns of Rochambeau’s Army, 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783. 2 vols. Princeton, N.J., 1972. description ends , 1:27; CLOSEN description begins Evelyn M. Acomb, ed. The Revolutionary Journal of Baron Ludwig von Closen, 1780–1783. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1958. description ends , 79).