George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Francis Barber, 13 December 1780

Head Quarters New Windsor 13th Decemr 1780

Dear Sir

I have recd your favr of the 11th. If there are good reasons for suspecting Capt. Giffords fidelity, I would by no means give him a discharge from the Army, because he might then go off to the enemy, and we should not have it in our power to treat him as a deserter should he fall into our hands again. I would at any rate bring him to a trial on his arrest—something may, in the course of it, turn up, which may give sufficient grounds for securing him afterwards, if the sentence of the Court should not find him guilty in a military point of light—Should he be cashierd, and then go off, the enemy will not have much to boast of, from the acquisition of such a character. I am &c.

P.S. I am informed that a considerable embarkation has taken place at New York. If Colo. Dayton is yet below, and you can contrive a line to him, be pleased to desire him to let me know, whether he has heard of such a matter and the particulars—be pleased also to forward the letter for Mr Adams.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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