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Estaing, Charles Henry Theodat, Count Da, 1729-

Naval officer; born in Auvergne, France, in 1729; guillotined in Paris, April 28, 1794; was colonel of a French

Charles Henry Theodat D'estaing.

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 [266] Byron, was sent to follow him across the Atlantic. It did not arrive at New York until late in the season. Byron 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 and France, 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. D'Estaing unsuccessfully tried to relieve it. Soon afterwards Byron's fleet, from the northeast coast, arrived, when D'Estaing took refuge at Martinique. Byron 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's. D'Estaing 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 Spain, 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.

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