Naval officer; born in Auvergne, France
, in 1729; guillotined in Paris
, April 28, 1794; was colonel of a French
regiment in 1748; brigadier-general
in 1756; and served in the French fleet after 1757, joining the East India squadron under Count Lally
Made lieutenantgeneral in 1763 and vice-admiral in 1778, he was sent to America
with a strong naval force to assist the patriots, arriving in Delaware Bay
in July, 1778.
As soon as his destination became known in England
, a British fleet, under Admiral
, was sent to follow him across the Atlantic
It did not arrive at New York until late in the season.
proceeded to attack the French fleet in Boston Harbor
His vessels were dispersed by a storm, and D'Estaing
, his ships perfectly refitted, sailed (Nov. 1, 1778) for the West Indies
, then, as between England
, the principal seat of war. On the same day 5,000 British troops sailed from New York for the same destination, escorted by a strong squadron.
The English fleet arrived first, and, joining some other vessels already there, proceeded to attack the island of St. Lucia
unsuccessfully tried to relieve it. Soon afterwards Byron
's fleet, from the northeast coast, arrived, when D'Estaing
took refuge at Martinique
tried in vain to draw him into action, and then started to convoy, a part of the way, the homeward-bound West Indiamen of the mercantile marine.
During his absence a detachment from Martinique
captured the English
island of St. Vincent.
Being largely reinforced soon afterwards, D'Estaing
sailed with his whole fleet and conquered the island of Grenada
Before the conquest was quite completed Byron
returned, when an indecisive engagement took place, and the much-damaged British fleet put into St. Christopher
then sailed (August, 1779) to escort, part of the way, the homeward-bound French West Indiamen
; and, returning, engaged jointly with the American
army in the siege of Savannah
, but abandoned the contest before a promised victory for the allies was won. He returned to France
in 1780, and in 1783 he commanded the combined fleets of France
, and was made a Spanish grandee.
He favored the French Revolution
, and commanded the National Guards at Versailles
, but falling under the suspicion of the Terrorists, he was beheaded.