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Letter from Colonel Howe to Lord Dunmore


Norfolk, December 25, 1775.

MY LORD: Desirous as we are to regain our friends in your custody, and to return to the army the officers and men of their corps who have fallen into our hands, we can, by no means, submit to place the officers and soldiers of the army, who have been taken in battle, upon a footing with those officers of militia and the peasants, that you have thought proper to deprive of their liberty. We have, since our march from the Great-Bridge, taken a number of those who were in action at that place; among them, some who acted under your commissions as field-officers; those I conceive, may be equitably exchanged for those of the same rank in your hands; and reluctant as I am to continue in confinement either your prisoners or ours, I shall consent to no exchange but such as equity shall warrant. I beg leave to refer you to Mr˙ Laurie for particulars. I should be glad to be favoured with a list of the prisoners you have in your hands, the rank they bear, and the manner in which they were taken.

I am, my Lord, your Lordship' s most obedient, humble servant,

Robert Howe.