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BARRAS, Count Louis de, French naval officer, born in Provence, France; died about 1800. He was lieutenant-general of marine at the time of his retirement from active service in 1783, a grade corresponding to that of admiral in modern navies. He was one of the trusted lieutenants of the Marquis de Ternay, who was sent out in command of the French relief squadron in 1781, and of the Count d'Estaing, who succeeded to the command after Ternay's death. De Barras was chosen to represent the navy at the conference between Washington and Rochambeau at Wethersfield, Connecticut. 23 May 1781, but was prevented from attending by the appearance of the British squadron off Block island. He participated in the encounters and disasters that befell the two fleets during a terrible gale that followed. Later in the season he was left in command at Newport, and he sailed thence in September to effect a junction with De Grasse in the Chesapeake. The French fleet, thus strengthened, lay in the mouth of the Chesapeake during the siege of Yorktown by the allied forces of Washington and Rochambeau. But for its presence there the British fleet would, no doubt, have come to the rescue of Cornwallis, and the final surrender might have been indefinitely postponed. De Barras was afterward engaged in active operations in the West Indies, and especially distinguished himself in 1782 by capturing the island of Monterrey from the British.
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