Sunday, April 1, 2012

April 2, 1777: Prisoner Exchange

On April 2, 1777, British officer Lieutenant Colonel William Walcott wrote, “I do again require and demand to be exchanged, according to the express terms of the agreement, ‘soldier for soldier,’”an agreement reached by British General Sir William Howe and American General George Washington.

Walcott remarked that Howe, “relying upon the honour and good faith of General Washington…hath, at several times, sent and delivered over to General Washington…a number of officers on their parole, and upwards of two thousand two hundred privates of the enemy [that is, American servicemen], his prisoners….” 

Walcott remarked that until Washington released an equal number of privates and officers, the released Americans were still technically prisoners of the British, a point Washington raised in his April 9 letter to Gen. Howe.   Washington characterized Walcott's letter as an 
illiberal performance 
that misstated American complaints

Norwich Packet (Norwich, Connecticut), 5 May 1777
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