On August 25, a number of British ships under the command of Admiral Sir Samuel Hood arrived in Chesapeake Bay. They searched for French ships and, finding none, sailed off to New York to join Admiral Thomas Graves' larger fleet. Graves took command of the combined force and sailed for the Chesapeake on August 31, arriving in the area on September 5.
Meanwhile, Admiral de Grasse arrived at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay on August 28 with a fleet of 24 ships carrying 1,700 guns and 3,000 soldiers. The land forces were put ashore several days later and joined with the army of the Marquis de Lafayette.
On September 5, Graves was astonished to find the French in possession of Chesapeake Bay. De Grasse realized that conducting naval operations within the bay's confines would be difficult and sailed into the Atlantic waters off the Virginia coast. Most authorities agree that the inept Graves should have struck as the French fleet proceeded in single file into open waters; he did not, which allowed them to form a battle line.
War for Independence
Battle of the Capes
September 5, 1781
In May 1781, Admiral Comte de Barras arrived in Newport, Rhode Island with the long-awaited news that a major French fleet would render assistance to the American cause in the late summer. That fleet, under the command of François Joseph Paul, Comte de Grasse, was en route to the West Indies and would later head to North America. De Barras, lacking sufficient strength to confront the British, sailed off for temporary refuge in Boston Harbor.
In mid-August, Admiral de Grasse sent word to George Washington that the French fleet would sail for service in Chesapeake Bay and be available for joint operations until mid-October. He was unable to make a longer commitment because he had to get his ships to safety at the height of the hurricane season.
There are two lighthouses on this base and also the First Landing Cross, but access to the whole of the base is not allowed. Some areas are restricted.
The base is used for training of amphibious equipment because of the beaches/sea.
Photo ID is required on entry, you are given a ticket which your car registration is noted and I think you hand the ticket in when you leave.
At the Northern end of Virginia Beach is a US Army base called Fort Story named after General John Patton Story. It became an army base in 1914 and is part of Fort Eustis.