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The official newsletter of the Battle of Rhode Island Association featuring news, events and Rhode Island history. Learn more at

December 1st, 2023

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The Battle of Rhode Island Association’s Lecture Series sponsored by BankNewport continues with our partners at the Rhode Island Historical Society and the Varnum Memorial Armory for two lectures: Wednesday, December 6th at 6:00 PM at the Aldrich House, 110 Benevolent St. in Providence and Thursday, December 7th at 6:00 PM at the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum, 6 Main St, East Greenwich As we present historian Dr. Friederike Baer’s lecture: “I cannot call it a Conquest – the Rebels ran away like Villains”: German Soldiers in Rhode Island, 1776 to 1779″.”

The British occupation of Rhode Island from 1776 to 1779 included more than 3,000 soldiers and civilians belonging to the corps from Hessen-Kassel and Ansbach-Bayreuth, two of the six German territories that supplied troops to Britain in its war against the American rebels. During this time, they dealt with persistent harassment by the Americans, and, in August 1778, they participated in the Battle of Rhode Island. The presentation will examine the land, people, and revolutionary war in Rhode Island from the perspective of these German troops.

The East Greenwich Lecture will be available via zoom.

Click Here to Zoom.

Meeting ID: 825 5338 9883

Passcode: 8wyE0X

Friederike Baer is Associate Professor of History at Pennsylvania State University, Abington College. She holds a Ph.D. in early American history from Brown University. Her work has been supported with research grants from organizations such as the American Philosophical Society, Library Company of Philadelphia, University of Michigan Clements Library, and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). For her most recent book, Hessians: German Soldiers in the American Revolutionary War (2022), she was awarded the 2023 Society of the Cincinnati Prize. For more information about her research please visit

Paul Murphy BHFRC Chairman along with Karen Griffin, Bristol Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.

Recently Butts Hill Fort Restoration Committee (BHFRC) Chair Col. Paul Murphy (USAF Ret,) spoke to the Bristol Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) at the Rodgers Free Public Library in Bristol. The presentation entailed the American Revolutionary War’s strategic situation leading up to the French fleet’s arrival in 1778. Explaining what made the physical position of Butts Hill Fort tactically important to all sides of the conflict throughout the war. He also provided an overview of BHFRC’s latest volunteer efforts in clearing long overgrown portions of the fort, including partnering with DAR. He highlighted the transformation the 6.5-acre earth works has gone through with our aims of presenting a newly resurrected historical site worth visiting, with enhancements to access, informational signage, and landscaping.  Col Murphy thanked the DAR for its long history of supporting the preservation of the fort and its role in Revolutionary War history, by displaying for the audience the actual bronze plaque the Rhode Island DAR dedicated and installed at the fort in 1922. “We believe DAR was absolutely instrumental in highlighting the need for the preservation of the fort a full year before the site was benevolently purchased and saved by Dr. Roderick Terry and the Newport Historical Society in 1923. DAR helped light the preservation fuse.” stated Murphy.  

Partner Events


The Battle of Rhode Island Association’s editorial board member and W3R-US’s Dr. Robert Selig was honored in November with the prestigious La Médaille d’Or des Valeurs Francophones, which recognizes the contributions of those who have devoted themselves to the continued development of the bond between France and other Francophone nations as well as nations which French culture has had an impact on, including the United States.

Dr. Robert A. Selig is a historical consultant who received his Ph.D. in history from the Universität Würzburg in Germany in 1988. He published several books on the American War of Independence and is a specialist on the role of French forces under the Comte de Rochambeau during the War. In 2022 the French government recognized his contributions by awarding him the National Order of Merit. He serves as a project historian to the National Park Service for the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail Project (WARO). For this project he researched and wrote surveys and resource inventories for the nine states (and the District of Columbia) through which American and French forces marched in 1781 and 1782. His reports are available at

Originally posted at

Original & Shared Articles

The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) has published many histories of the vessels in Rhode Island during the American Revolution and has done many archaeological studies to find and document what remains of those that were lost. Vessels of various types and sizes were lost due to marine peril, human error, or in engagements between enemy combatants.

In Rhode Island local land engagements had a maritime component because in order to meet, one side or the other (and sometimes both) had to cross the Bay, transit the Sound, or navigate local inland waterways. The stories of these vessels can be thrilling, sometimes amusing, and often tragic, but more importantly, they clearly demonstrate the intensity of what happened on local waters during the American Revolution, and why Rhode Island is called the “Ocean State.”

Dr. Kathy Abbass, RIMAP’s founder and Executive Director, authored this article.

Click HERE to go to the RIMAP Website and the article.

Featured Item

Commemorative Coin #3

Our third commemorative coin honors the 100-year anniversary of the purchase and preservation of the land that Butts Hill Fort sits on by Reverend Dr. Roderick Terry. The coin features the BoRIA logo on the front and the silhouette of the Reverend Dr. reading one of his treasured books on the back.

New fourth Commemorative Coin honoring General James Varnum coming December 5th!

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