« IndietroContinua »
took his chance of repayment from his country. His regiment
In correcting Gen. James Talmadge's history of this affair,
PEEKSKILL, Feb’y 28th, 1845.
Dear Colonel :- * * * * * * When I see you, I will relate to
Your father was an efficient agent in detecting the Spy, the
Yours, with much respect,
PIERRE VAN CORTLANDT.
The following is a copy of the original order, which enabled my father to .procure the captured British uniforms for his newly raised regiment the Third Connecticut; and which caused it to be
* ditionals" known as the “ Decoy Regiment":
HEADQUARTERS, June 28, 1777. Col. Webb has his Excellency's, General Washington's Orders, to appropriate so much of the Scarlet Cloathing, taken from the Enemy at Sea, as will be sufficient to cloath one Regiment. The said Cloathing, to be set apart for his Regt.
. Tuos. MIFFLEN, Q. M, G.
The close and very friendly personal relations which always existed between Gen. Washington and my father, from the time
he became a member of his staff in April, 1776-a mere boy-un-
At the time of my father's capture, he was not quite twenty-
After the battle of Trenton, Gen. Washington begged him to go to Connecticut and superintend the recruiting of his regiment. But he said, “No; not until you get safely into Winter quarters, which will be only after much hard fighting. I would sooner give up my regiment than abandon you now.”
You will find allusion to this, in the letters congratulating him upon the laurels won at Trenton.
It was in the December following, he was taken prisoner; and during the two and a half years preceding, he had been wounded at Bunker Hill and at White Plains; had been the Aid of Gen. Putman and then of Gen. Washington; and had been actively engaged with his Chief, in every affair of the army; and was known to be a favorite at headquarters. Not yet twenty-four, it is not a matter of surprise, that he ventured to address to his old Chief the following letter.
د مهم 2
Col. Sam'l B. Webb to Gen. Washington.
December 29th, 1777.
which we parted Company. On the morning of the 10th, at dawn of
I should without loss of time, have waited in Person on your
Your Excellency's Most Obedt. &
Very Humbl Servt
SAM’l B. WEBB.
• From his wound at the battle of Whiteplains; the ball which killed his horse, having passed through his leg.
who had, very naturally, presumed upon their personal relations,
Gen. Washington to Col. Webb.
VALLEY FORGE, Jan’y 8th, 1778. SIR: I was this Evening, favored with your Letter 'of the 29th Ulto. I had heard before, of your unfortunate expedition & '. captivity; and not without concern.
It would give me pleasure to render you any service in my sy power; but it is impossible for me to comply with you request, without violating the principles of Justice and incurring a charge of partiality.
You are sensible, that we have several officers now in captivity, with the Enemy, of your Rank and of Lieut. Col. Campbell's Rank, who have been in this unhappy situation much longer than you: some taken when General Thompson was defeated at the Three Rivers early in 1775—others at Long Island, in August following
—others at Fort Washington; and a further number at the Battle
I know there have been some Exchanges contrary to this rule;
Perhaps on your return, you may have interest enough with your acquaintances, to obtain your release on parole; but you can
not do this on the principle of having an officer sent in on the like indulgence; the objections to an Enlargement on parole out of due course, in such case, being the same as to an Exchange.
I am, Dear Sir,
How characteristic was this of the man. He was not above reasoning with his boy-friend; but he taught him to know at once, that his case, in consequence of their past relations, must be held up to the army as an example of his justice, uninfluenced by any personal considerations.
As Commissioner for a general exchange of prisoners, my father spent most of the period for which he was a prisoner, at Wethersfield and Philadelphia and at the headquarters of our army; and when finally, his turn for exchange arrived, his old commander and friend, took an early opportunity to show, that his stern justice to his former favorite, was not dictated by any want of friendship or confidence. Accordingly, when La Fayette resigned the command of the Light Infantry of the army, Washington's pet corps, he, Washington, appointed my father to be La Fayette's successor.
Silas Deane, who was Chairman of the Committee of Safety for the Colony of Connecticut, appointed my father his private · secretary; and it was in that capacity, that he accompanied his step-father to Philadelphia, at the opening of the Congress of 1774–5, where he first made the acquaintance of Washington. But the aspect of public affairs, grew more lowering; the probability of a rupture, daily increased; and my father, early in 1775, resigned his secretaryship and the charms of Philadelphia society, and returned to Wethersfield, to be nearer, what promised to become the scene of strife.
When the news of the battle of Lexington reached Wethersfield, my father at once volunteered as a private in Capt. Chester's Light Infantry Company, and marched for Boston. Four days thereafter, while on the march, he was elected the First Lieutenant; and Capt. Chester being absent, he took command of the company. Shortly after its arrival at Cambridge, Capt. Chester