George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Beatty, 25 June 1779

To John Beatty

New Windsor June 25th 1779


Agreeable to the inclosed resolution of Congress of the 3d instant, you are hereby authorised to make as many parole exchanges as you can on the following principles.1

1st to Pay a strict regard on our side to priority of capture.

2dly To give a preference as far as circumstances will permit to equality of rank.

3d Where equality of rank cannot govern to make use of composition on one or other of the following Tariffs, giving a preference to each according to the order in which it here stands.

first Tariff
A Lt General as 48
Major General 24
Brigadier 12
Col. 6
Lt Col. 5
Major 4
Cap. 3
Lt 2
Ens. 1
2d Tariff
Lt General as 34
Major General as 21
Brigadier—as 13
Col. 8
Lt Col. 5
Major— 3
Cap. 2
Subaltern 1
3d Tariff
A Lt General as 55
Major General as 34
Brigadier 21
Col. 13
Lt Col. 8
Major 5
Capt. 3
Lt 2
Ens. 1

4h In exchanges by Composition the rank next after are as far as possible to be preferred.

5thly The prisoners thus exchanged on parole are to be recalled at the pleasure of either party.

I have directed a Board of Officers to set tomorrow at Smiths Clove to determine who of those persons alleged by the enemy to have broken their paroles are really to be considered as breakers of parole and who of these were military prisoners of war—who not—You will attend the board and give them all the information and evidence you possess on the subject. When I have received their report I shall give you further instructions.2 I am Sir Yr most Obed. s.

Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1See JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 14:679; see also John Jay to GW, 4 June, and Board of War to GW, 12 June, and n.1 to that document.

2At this place on the draft manuscript, Hamilton wrote and then struck out a paragraph that reads: “This is only intended as a substitute for absolute exchanges which are in all cases to be preferred on the terms here directed for parole exchanges.”

For the meeting of this board of general officers, see General Orders and GW to a Board of General Officers, both this date; see also Board of General Officers to GW, 28 June, and GW to Beatty, 12 July.

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