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Letter from General Washington to the Deputy Governour of Requesting list of prisoners



Head-Quarters, Harlem Heights, September 29, 1776

GENTLEMEN: General Howe having signified to me a desire of making a general exchange of prisoners, both officers and privates, it becomes necessary to have an exact return of the numbers in our possession. You will, therefore be pleased to have all the Continental prisoners of war, belonging to the land service, in the different towns in your State, collected and brought together to some convenient place, from whence they may be removed hither, when a cartel is fully settled. When they are collected, you will please to have made out, and transmit to me, an exact return of the names of the commissioned and staff officers, their ranks, and the corps to which they belong. The names of the non-commissioned and privates need not be mentioned; their numbers will be sufficient. As it will be more convenient to send them by water than by land, which may always be safely effected by means of a flag, I think you had better order the prisoners to some place contiguous to a port, there to remain till you hear further from me. As I apprehend the number of prisoners in the State of New-Hampshire to be too small to make up a freight for a vessel, I have directed, if that should be the case, that they would be sent to your State, that they may come forward with your prisoners.

You will be pleased to forward the enclosed to Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, of the Seventy-First Regiment. I am not certain where he is stationed, but think it is at Reading.

I have the honour to be, gentlemen, your most obedient servant,


To the Hon˙ Jeremiah Powell, Esq˙, President, &c.

P˙ S˙ Be pleased also to make a return of the prisoners belonging to the British navy, with the names and rank of the officers.

Enclosed you have a letter from Captain Campbell, of the Seventy-First Regiment, to me. As he seems to acknowledge his errour, and promises a more circumspect behaviour in future, I could wish you would consider his case, and, if you think proper, admit him to his parole again.