George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Major General Israel Putnam, 20 September 1779

To Major General Israel Putnam

Head Quarters West point 20th Sepr 1779.

Dear Sir

I have your favr of this morning respecting Capt. Lyman.1 I am intirely a stranger to his character—neither do I know upon what terms he was permitted to return to New York. When Mr Beatty the Commy of prisoners comes to Camp, I will enquire. I have understood that he had, previous to his capture at Powles Hook, sold his Commission, and that he went in to recive or get security for the purchase Money after which he intended to come out and settle in the Country: But I only have this by report. should he return, he ought at least to have a watchful Eye kept upon him. I am with great Regard Dear Sir Yrs &c.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1This letter has not been found.

Gamaliel Dwight Lyman (b. 1745), of Connecticut, acquired an ensign’s commission in the British 64th Regiment of Foot during a visit to England in May 1772. He became a lieutenant in the same regiment in November 1775, and apparently later acquired a captain’s commission, which he subsequently sold. As GW indicates in this letter, Lyman was captured at Paulus Hook, N.J., in August 1779 and paroled to New York City. Lyman then returned to England and spent over a year there recovering from a wound he had received in America. Lyman returned to America in the autumn of 1780 to visit his wife. The packet ship on which he sailed, however, was captured, and GW again paroled him to New York City (see John Cadwalader to GW, 20 Sept. 1780, and GW to Abraham Skinner, 14 Oct. 1780, both DLC:GW). Lyman subsequently returned to Connecticut, provided GW with intelligence, and sounded him out about a commission in the Continental army. However, he apparently never returned to service (see Lyman to GW, 22 March 1781, DLC:GW).

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