George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Phillips, 2 June 1780

New York June 2nd 1780


I have the honour to inclose for your Excellency’s perusal the copy of a letter I have this day written to Major Skinner your Deputy Commissary General of Prisoners.

I conclude not to trouble you, Sir, with a long letter upon the occasion, as I hope the inclosed will be sufficiently explanatory of my wishes upon the several subjects contained in it, trusting at the same time that they will meet with Your Excellency’s concurrence and approbation. I have the honour to be, Sir, with great personal respect, Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble servant

W. Phillips

DLC: Papers of George Washington.



New York June 2nd 1780


Upon the Commission breaking up at Amboy every interference of mine concerning prisoners of war ceased, and I have never since that period intermeddled in any matter concerning them; except in such particulars as relate to the transactions at Amboy.

A number of prisoners were there exchanged by consent of the several Commissioners, and lists signed reciprocally by the Commissaries General of Prisoners Mr Loring and Mr Beattie; it is on this account partly that I now write to you to inform you that some of the persons exchanged have not been sent in on your part, particularly a Conductor Riley from Reading and Ensign Rynd from Rutland in the Massachusetts, the latter Gentleman was a Volunteer when taken and exchanged against a Volunteer of Colonel Baylor’s Corps. I am to desire that these persons may be sent in and I cannot help remarking that a want of attention in these instances is a great hardship upon the Individuals concerned, and can only serve to create distrust which I was in great hopes, after the adjustment of all the particulars between the Commissaries at Amboy, would never have arisen—I will venture to say that we have been punctiliously correct on our part.

A List of the Officers on parole on both sides was certified and signed to by the two Commissaries by which a balance of a Major and a Captain was on our side and I requested Major Harnage and Captain Hawker might be sent in which General Washington was so obliging as to direct, and they are arrived here and it leads me to desire you will present my compliment of thanks to the General upon the occasion.

In the list above mentioned there is a Major Von Stein of General Knyphousen’s Regiment who has been sent out from New York to Lancaster, it being His Excellency’s intentions that he should remain there until exchanged—This gives again a balance in favour of the parole Officers on our side, of the value of a Major, and I am to request the following officers may be sent in on parole in consequence,

Captain Morris Robinson

Ensign Frederick Phillips Robinson,

taken at Stoney Point, and Mr Pausch the principal surgeon of General Knyphausen’s Regiment. If you will take the trouble to examine the Tariff you will find the numbers stand thus

Major Von Stein 28

Captain Robinson 16

Ensign Robinson 4

Surgeon Pausch 6 26

I am to desire you will take General Washington’s commands upon the subject of this letter, to whom I have sent a copy of it, and I make no doubt His Excellency will order the Officers as above described to be sent into New York upon their paroles. I am, Sir your most humble servant

W. Phillips

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