George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Anthony Wayne, 11 January 1781

Trenton 11th Jany 1781 9 OClock A.M.

My Dear General

In mine of the 9th I had the Honor of giving you a particular account of our proceedings & Situation, yesterday Our Sergts or Commanders agreed as a preliminary to give us up the two Spies & Most all such Soldiers as were entitled to their Discharges (which are but few) should Immediately give up their Arms & retire—there were Articles which they took the Voice of the Soldiers on—who agreed to them with more unanimity than the bunch of Serjts. The two Caitiffs will suffer Death this morning in pursuance of their Sentance last evening—this will Effectually forclose all future negociations with Sr Harry—who [I wanted] to Strike—the Committee of Congress are afraid to trust our boys so near the Enemy least they change their Disposition.

I shall Introduce the Commanding Officers of Regiments to morrow & hope to draw the power out of the hands of the Serjts by degress [   ].

We shall begin business Immediatly but am still of Opinion that we had better get rid of all the Serjts &ca & to rendezvous the whole at [some] time & place—They say they will One & all reinlist & serve this Country with more Order & fidelity than ever—These are words of [   ].

Sr Harry sent out two more Spies—who I know to be rascals—but serviceable to us—they brought new Overtures—such as giving the Command of Lines to the Regt &ca.

I shall give your Excellency all this material Intelligence that may come to hand—One of the Spies in hopes of saving his life—told me that Capt. Ward who Defended the black house—with thirty men Desperadoes are to make you a prisoner—by watching you when riding out—with a Slender train—it will not be amiss to be on your guard—I pray you don’t give an Opening—get some trusty guards round you—time will not permit me to say more or to look over what I wrote.

Adieu my Dear General & believe me in every vicissitudes of fortune yours most Affectionately

Anty Wayne

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Prince Town 10 Jany 1781 5 OClock P.M.


The bearers are two emisaries from the Enemy—but true to their Country have rendered partial service at different times, & are therefore entitled to some confidence & bounty—with your assistance & advice we may probably employ them to Advantage—shall we take Sr Harry like a wood Cock in his own [springe]—think of this matter over night, I will explain myself in the Morning—should you not like the Idea. I have the Honor to be with Singular Esteem Your Most Obt Hum. Sert

Anty Wayne

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