George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the Board of War, 14 June 1780

To the Board of War

Head Qrs Springfield June 14th 1780


I was yesterday afternoon honoured with your Two Letters of the 7th & 8th Inst. In consequence of the request contained in the first I have directed Captain Bowman to repair to Philadelphia, who will have the honor of presenting this to the Board.1

The Sentence against Captain Coren will be published and confirmed in General Orders;2 but the proceedings at present are at the Adjutant General’s Office in Morris Town.

General Knyphausen has informed me in answer to my Letter on the subject,3 that he did not think himself authorised to act on my proposition for mutually appointing Agents for prisoners; but that he would take the earliest occasion to transmit my Letter to Sir Henry Clinton. With respect to the Bills—his Answer is entirely silent; it being his wish I presume to leave this as well as the Other business to Sir Harry Clinton’s determination.

Captn Bowman has in charge a Captn Joel who has just come from New York—& who pretends to have left the British Army in disgust.4 I can not determine whether this is true or false; but I can not but view him with an eye of suspicion. I think it necessary at least in the present conjuncture of things, that he should be safely kept—and I wish the Board to have him so confined as to prevent him any opportunity of escaping, if it should be his intention; at the same time, that he may be comfortably used, and not treated with any degree of rigor or disrespect till they hear further from me. The Board will be pleased to permit Captn Bowman to return to his Regiment as soon as they can, as he is said to be a very brave & active Officer.

The Enemy still remain out with all the force they can possibly draw from New York and their other posts—and confine themselves to Elizabeth Town point; advancing parties into the North part of the Town. I have the Honor to be with great respect & esteem Gentn Yr Most Obedt st


Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1On 16 June, GW’s secretary Robert Hanson Harrison wrote Capt. Nathaniel Bowman from Springfield: “His Excellency the Commander in Chief having received a Letter from the Honble the Board of War requesting You to repair to Philadelphia on the subject of your command at Squan last Winter—I am to inform You that the General desires You will comply with their request without delay and that You will deliver the Board the Letter which he has addressed to them. But previous to your going, You will proceed to Chatham, where you will find a Captain Joel late of the British Army who has just come from New York, and who is in the care of Lieutenant [James] Whitehead of the pennsylvania line. You are to take Captn Joel with You to philadelphia to the Board of War about whom the General has written to them—and you will give those attentions to him on the Journey which have been mentioned. He is to be treated with politeness, but not to be permitted to escape, if he would wish to do it, and proper precautions are to be had to prevent it.

“The General has furnished You with Six Hundred Dollars for the purpose of defraying your Expences, of which You will keep an Exact account” (DLC:GW). Bowman’s receipt for the $600 is dated 16 June (see Revolutionary War Receipts, 1775–1783, DLC:GW, ser. 5).

4For Capt. Beesly Edgar Joel, see Robert Howe to GW, 11 June, and the notes to that document.

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