The Battle for Rhode Island was an opportunity lost the American cause. The Great Storm had forced the withdrawal of the French fleet and land army. Deprived of the superiority to assault the British at Newport and compel their surrender, General Sullivan’s only course of action was to retreat. British General Pigot pursued, sensing a chance to destroy the retreating American army piecemeal. What he got was a hot, stand-up fight with many American units that were veterans of the Battle of Monmouth.