George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Beatty, 2 July 1778

From John Beatty

Princeton [N.J.] July 2d 1778


Inclosed you have a List of the Prisoners capturd during the Enemys march thro this state & now lodged in the goal at Trenton1—whether any yet remains in the Provost, I cannot ascertain, having receiv’d no returns from the Provost marshall.

Nine of these call themselves Deserters, but as no proof appears, that they intentionally fell into our Hands, shall detain them as Prisoners of War. They are all hearty, Hale Fellows, should be glad to know whether I shall include them in the Exchange now about to take place.

Capt. Nesbitt on Parole in this town is very desirous of going to Philada, where he says he has a number of Friends2—I told him, I could not comply with his request, Untill Your Excelly was made aquainted with it. I am Sir your most Obedient & very Humb. Servt

Jno. Beatty
Com: gen. of Prisoners


1The enclosed return by Deputy Commissary of Prisoners George Tudor, dated 2 July, listed forty-six prisoners at Princeton, twenty-seven prisoners at Trenton, and one man “on Parole at Duyckins Mills on the North Branch of Raritan.” Beatty’s note on the document added, “I am rather Inclined to believe, there are none in the Provo. as these were march’d up last Tuesday, Except 27—part of whom were those taken by Coll Morgan—which arrived here Sunday Evening” (DLC:GW).

2Beatty was apparently referring to Lt. Albert Nesbit of the 17th Regiment of Foot, who had been captured on 27 June (see “Inman’s Narrative,” description begins “George Inman’s Narrative of the American Revolution.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 7 (1883): 237–48. description ends 243). Tudor’s return lists Captain Nesbit as belonging to that regiment. Nesbit was exchanged on 16 March 1780 (“Exchange of Prisoners Settled with Col: Beatty 9 Septr 1779 at Elizabeth Town,” DNA: RG 93, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775–1783).

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