Battle of Cape Henry

The Battle of Cape Henry was naval battle in the American War of Independence which took place near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay on 16 March 1781 between a British squadron led by Vice Admiral Mariot Arbuthnot and a squadron fleet under Captain Des Touches.

In the earlier part of the year the British at New York and the French at Newport continued to watch one another. In March the British Admiral Arbuthnot succeeded in baffling an attempt of the French to carry reinforcements to the American cause in Virginia. The action he fought off the capes of Virginia on the 16 of March was ill conducted, but his main purpose was achieved.