George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Samuel Huntington, 7 February 1780

From Samuel Huntington

Philadelphia Feby 7th 1780


I do myself the honour to forward the enclosed letter from Genl Lincoln address’d to your Excellency.1

As Major Lane the Express charged with this Letter was late a Prisoner in Savannah,2 and your Excellency must be anxious to know the State of the Prisoners in the southern Department; I have examined him on that Subject and taken his information in writing which is herewith enclosed, yet hoping you may find in Genl Lincolns Letter a more accurate Account of the Matter.3 I have the honour to be with the highest respect your Excy’s hble Servt

Sam. Huntington.

LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 14.

2Virginia native Joseph Lane, Jr. (1740–1801) joined the 3d Georgia Regiment as a captain in 1776 and in April 1778 became the regiment’s major. Lane was commander of Fort Morris at Sunbury, Ga., when that fortress fell to the British in January 1779. After his exchange, he was court-martialed and dismissed from the service in October 1780 for disobeying Maj. Gen. Robert Howe’s orders to evacuate Fort Morris.

3The undated statement signed by Lane reads: “The Exchange was general in the So. Department negotiated by Major [Edward] Hyrne on the part of the States, & Majr [Archibald] McArthur in behalf of the British: general as far as non-commissioned & private, who have received the benefit of it, & return’d in a cartel (Col. [John] Hamilton) to Chastown: partial as to officers—the British comsy of prisoners being indebted to the States (I think) 106 of the former; & the States to the British —— I cannot ascertain the number of the latter.

“The informant can only recollect, that Col. S[amuel] Elbert, (Brigadier of Militia) & his Aid Major [David] Douglass; Mordecai Sheftall Comsy Genl of Issues; Capt. Thomas Moriss of Artillery; Capt. Lt [John] Dollar of Do, Capt. [John] Kell of Mili[ti]a; & Lt [George] Cubbage [Cubbedge, Cabbage] of Do are yet unexchanged.

“There are other officers in the above predicament whose names & number have escaped the informant’s memory; & as he cannot reduce the premises to a certainty has declined a loose guess or surmise” (DLC:GW).

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