George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Beatty, 21 August 1778

To John Beatty

Head Quarters [White Plains] 21 Augt 1778


Lewis Johnson Costagan a Lieut. in the 1st Jersey Regt was taken prisoner early in 1777.1 I would wish that the speediest means may be used for the obtaining his Exchange, at the same time you will observe such caution in conducting the affair as not to alarm the enemy or induce them to detain him. You will not seem over anxious, and yet take such measures as cannot fail to procure his liberty.

As soon as he comes out you will be pleased to direct him to repair immediately to the Head Quarters of the army. I am Sir &c.


Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Lewis Johnston Costigin (c.1744–1822) was commissioned a first lieutenant of the 1st New Jersey Regiment in November 1775. According to his memorial to GW of 4 April 1782 (DLC:GW), he was taken prisoner in January 1777 and remained in captivity until September 1778. At that time he was paroled to New Brunswick, and he apparently was exchanged in December 1778. Costigin supplied intelligence from New York over the signature “Z” from the time of his parole or before until late December 1778, but he had come out of the city by March 1779.

Index Entries