Monday, June 11, 2012

Cruel Insults

     The 12 June 1775 issue of the Connecticut Courant (Hartford) featured an account of a prisoner exchange between British Regulars and American forces at Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The exchange took place on Tuesday, 6 June 1775. 
     “The Regular Officers…who had been Prisoners politely acknowledged the genteel, kind Treatment they had received from their Captors; the Privates, who were all wounded Men, expressed in the strongest Terms, their grateful Sense of the Tenderness which had been shewn them in their miserable Situation; some of them could do it only by their Tears.  It would have been to the honour of the British Arms, if the Prisoners taken from us could with Justice have made the same acknowledgment.”
      Regarding the mistreatment suffered by American prisoners, the report gave British military commanders the benefit of the doubt: “It cannot be supposed that any Officers of Rank, or common Humanity, were knowing to the repeated cruel Insults that were offered them; but it may not be amiss to hint to the Upstarts concerned, two Truths…viz. That Compassion is as essential [a] Part of the Character of a truely brave Man as daring; and that Insult offered to a Person entirely in the Power of the Insulter, smells as strong of Cowardice as it does of Cruelty.”
Post a Comment