George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General John Nixon, 1 November 1778

From Brigadier General John Nixon

Camp Woodbury [Conn.]
1st Novr 1778

May it Please your Excellency,

Permit me to Solicit Your Influence in the Exchange of Capt. Goodale a worthy officer in my Brigde belonging to Coll Putnams Regt, who was taken Prisenor near mile Square & is Now on Long Island, He Distinguished himself as a Partizan the Last Campaign, thro his Activity, Good Conduct & Intripidity, he captured with his parties at Diffrent times upwards of 100 of Lt Genl Burgoyns army. he hes Wrote to his Colo. for Some Clothes & money, adjt Trotter is Dispatched for that purpose, if agreable to your Excellency.1

As Capt. Goodale hes bin a Very useful officer, his Exchange would be Greatfuly Received2 by your Excellencys, Most obedt & very Humb. Servt

Jno. Nixon B.G.


1John Trotter of Williamstown, Mass., served during most of 1775 as a sergeant in Col. David Brewer’s Massachusetts Regiment, and from January to December 1776 as an ensign in the 13th Continental Infantry Regiment. In January 1777 he was appointed lieutenant and adjutant in the 5th Massachusetts Regiment, and in February 1781 he was promoted to captain with a commission dating from October 1780. He subsequently served in the Quartermaster General’s department before being appointed in January 1783 an aide to Brig. Gen. Rufus Putnam, a position he held until the end of the war.

GW’s assistant secretary, James McHenry, wrote to Stirling on 3 Nov. from headquarters at Fredericksburg, N.Y.: “His Exellency requests you will, in the first flag boat for New-york—forward the baggage belonging to Capt. Goodale; It is under the care of Adjt Trotter, who will have the honor of delivering your Lordship his Excellencys desire” (DLC:GW).

2For GW’s response to further requests to free Goodale, who was not exchanged until October 1779, see GW to Horatio Gates, 3 Nov., and n.3 to that document.

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