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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Alexander Martin to John Alexander Lillington
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
February 17, 1783
Volume 16, Pages 739-740

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Danbury, 17th February, 1783.


Your Letter of the 30th ultimo was only handed to me to-day by express. I am sorry the same has been so long delayed on the road. Lord Charles Montague being a Prisoner of War in the State gives me singular pleasure tho’ the manner of his Lordship’s capture adds no great honor to the Captain and his Crew; yet the same is admitted from policy among warring Nations.

His Lordship has requested to be paroled to New York, but this is not granted as yet, until I consult General Greene as to a representation lately made to me from our Officers and other Gentlemen from Charles Town, that Lord Charles’ Regiment lately raised was generally composed of the Virginia and North Carolina Captive Soldiers, who were compelled under His Lordship’s direction to inlist into the British Service from on board the prison Ships near Charles Town, and have been sent to the West Indies, where they have chiefly perished. This matter must be inquired into, which greatly affects the honor of the United States and this in particular.

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You will therefore continue him on parole in New Bern or ten miles round the same, or any part of the State he will request, until this inquiry can be had, and permission be granted for his Lordship’s further enlargement. All the necessary baggage belonging to his Lordship, and the officers with him, you will order to be delivered. Such of his family and servants he would chose to be retained, you will permit to remain with him. You will parole the other Officers to the British Ports they request, whose passports you have enclosed, and transmit to me their Christian names and Regiments they belong to, that the Commissary of Prisoners in the Southern Department may enrol them. I have consented that Captain Montague be exchanged for Captain James Read, late aid to Governor Burke, if the same should be agreed to by the Commanding Officer at New York and should Captain Read be not yet exchanged. If Lord Montague before this reach you, should be gone to New Bern with the other Officers on your parole, as mentioned in your Letter, you will transmit these Instructions to Brigadier General Caswell, that he may comply with the same.

I am with much respect, &c.,