College students from Salve Regina University are searching for the site of a significant battle in the Revolutionary War. The project, which has garnered federal grant funding, seeks to uncover parts of Middletown's colonial history.
The Salve Regina history department said the students will overlay historic maps and modern, aerial photos to try and pinpoint the exact spot where Colonial and British forces built fortifications in the Siege of Newport in 1778.
In that battle, the colonists joined forces with the French to attack the British, on land and from the sea.
The alliance was forced to retreat, but historians say the attack helped convince the British to leave Newport the following year.
The students from Salve, in partnership with the Middletown Historical Society, will research the battle and map its location. University officials said radar and other tools would then be used to examine the ground for a more precise location.
The search for the battleground is funded by a $67,000 grant from the National Park Service under a program that seeks to preserve the history of battlefields in the U.S. Salve Regina expects to complete the project by the end of August 2017.