George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant General James Robertson, 29 September 1780

From Lieutenant General James Robertson

New York, 29th Septr 1780.


Perswaded that you are inclined rather to promote than prevent the Civilitys and Acts of humanity which the rules of War permit between civilized Nations, I find no difficulty in representing to you that several letters and messages sent from hence have been disregarded, are unanswered, and the flags of truce that carryed them detained—As I ever have treated all flags of truce with Civility & respect, I have a right to hope, that you will order my complaint to be immediately redressed.

Major André who visited an Officer Commanding in a district at his own desire, and acted in every circumstance agreeable to his direction, I find is detained a prisoner; my friendship for him leads me to fear he may suffer some inconvenience for want of necessarys, I wish to be allowed to send him a few, and shall take it as a favor if you will be pleased to permit his Servant to deliver them—In Sir Henry Clinton’s absence it becomes a part of my duty to make this representation and request.1 I am, Sir, Your Excellencys, Most Obedient humble Servant,

James Robertson Lt General

LS, DLC:GW; copy, enclosed in GW to Samuel Huntington, 7 Oct. (Document XVI), DNA:PCC, item 152.

Col. Israel Angell described the probable conveyance of this letter in his diary entry for 30 Sept.: “a flagg … Came from the Enemy to dobbes ferry, and brought a number of things from the Enemy to Majr Andrews [André] his Servant Came in the flagg” (Field, Angell Diary description begins Edward Field, ed. Diary of Colonel Israel Angell, Commanding the Second Rhode Island Continental Regiment during the American Revolution, 1778–1781. Providence, 1899. description ends , 126).

1For GW’s reply, see Document XII.

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