The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence
During the first six months of 1779 no important incident occurred in the West Indies. On the 6th of January, Vice-Admiral Byron, with ten ships of the line from Narragansett Bay, reached Santa Lucia, and relieved Barrington of the chief command. Both the British and the French fleets were reinforced in the course of the spring, but the relative strength remained nearly as before, until the 27th of June, when the arrival of a division from Brest made the French numbers somewhat superior.
Shortly before this, Byron had been constrained by one of the commercial exigencies