Constitution Island 2d Jany 1783
May it please your Excellency
Last evening Capt. Lieut: Kirkpatrick and myself were taken under Guard and confined to my tent, this we understand is by order of Major General Knox—Captain Bushnell of the Corps to which we belong gives us not even the disposal of our Baggage—How much the feelings of two Men who have served with reputation as Officers six years in the Army under your Excellencys Command are injured cannot be discribed—to be thus insulted and have our dignity trampled upon is to be wretched indeed. We will not trouble your Excellency at this time with an account why we are treated so unprecedented and singularly, this from prisoners is never so well received.
We well know how high Your Excellency is in the estimation of Your Army for doing impartial justice and supporting the reputation of your Officers—to your Excellency then we look up for it, which we flatter ourselves will in a short time wipe away the degradation under which we are placed and restore us to that confidence amongst our superiors and credit throughout the Army which has ever since we entered it ’till Yesterday smiled upon us. In behalf of C. Lt Kirkpatrick and myself I am Your Excellencys Most obedient servant
P. Taulman C. Lt
Sappers & Miners
DLC: Papers of George Washington.