George Washington Papers

From George Washington to New York Officer Commanding at Croton River, 3 January 1783

3 January 1783


As I have thought proper to direct that in future & until further orders Flags of Truce properly authenticated & conducted agreeably to the Rules of War may be received at the New Bridge on the Croton; & that Flags may also be sent from thence into the British Lines under certain limitations; you will be pleased to observe the following Regulations in conducting this business (viz).

All Flags from the Enemy are to be stopped at the Bridge, the Letters & Papers received, and the bearer or bearers discharged & sent back as soon as conveniently may be—while the person or persons who come with the Flag remain there, he or they are to be constantly in the charge of a Commissd or Non Commissd Officer; and whenever it may be thought necessary a guard will also be ordered to prevent a removal from the quarters assigned, or any kind of improper or illicit intercourse with the Inhabitants of the Country.

It need not be suggested that all Persons coming under the sanction of a Flag & demeaning themselves properly, ought to be treated with Civility—but no Military characters are on any pretext to be suffered to come any farther within our out Posts than is necessary for their accomodation; Nor are any Citizens or persons of any discription whatsoever (except Prisoners of War exchanged or on parole) coming in this manner from the British Lines to be admitted into any of the United States, without the special Permission of Congress, or the Supreme Executive of the State into which they wish to go—All others are to be remanded to the Enemy’s Lines.

Flags are to be granted by you only in consequence of Orders from Congress, the Secrry at War, the Executive of either of the States or myself. All Letters and Papers that are to be sent in by Flag, must be previously examined at Head Quarters, except such as may be forwarded by some of the authorities before mentioned, or written by persons who have Passports from them, or the business relative to which permission for Flags was on to them. You will suffer no Article of goods or Merchandize to come out by Flag: and all Letters Dispatches &c. brought by such conveyance are to be forwarded to Head Quarters for inspection; except such as are addressed to Congress, the Secry at War or Chief Magistrate of some of the United States. Given under my hand at Head Quarters Newburgh Janry 3 1783.

P.S. This Order to be delivered over to the relieving Officer from time to time.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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