Journal ou Campagne des Armées de Terre et de Mer… 1781-1782
François-Joseph-Paul, comte de Grasse (1722-1788), was born in Bar-sur-Loup, France, on September 12, 1722. In 1781, after serving as a commodore in the French navy during France's early involvement in the American Revolution, de Grasse was promoted to admiral and given command of a large fleet. The convoy reached the West Indies in April 1781 and participated in several engagements before sailing to Virginia to support the Comte de Rochambeau's troops. De Grasse and his fleet fought the British in several battles around the Chesapeake, and provided a naval blockade during the sieges of Yorktown and Gloucester. After General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to the allied forces in October of 1781, de Grasse returned with his fleet to the West Indies, where they aided in capturing St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat in 1782. However, in April 1782, de Grasse faced a disastrous defeat against Admiral George Romney off of the Îles de Saintes, and was captured by the British. He was eventually freed and he returned to France, where he died in 1788.