Life and Times of Washington - Vol. 3

Life and Times of Washington - Vol. 3

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Life and Times of Washington - Vol. 3

Life and Times of Washington - Vol. 3

Read FREE!

Excerpt

A MONG the many perplexing subjects which claimed the attention of Washington during the winter (1776-1777), while he was holding his headquarters among the hills at Morristown, none gave him more annoyance than that of the treatment of American prisoners in the hands of the enemy. Among the civilized nations of modern times prisoners of war are treated with humanity and principles are established on which they are exchanged. The British officers, however, considered the Americans as rebels deserving condign punishment and not entitled to the sympathetic treatment commonly shown to the captive soldiers of independent nations. They seem to have thought that the Americans would never be able, or would never dare, to retaliate. Hence their prisoners were most infamously treated. Against this the Americans remonstrated, and, on finding their remonstrances disregarded, they adopted a system of retaliation which occasioned much unmerited suffering to individuals. Col. Ethan Allen, who had been defeated and made prisoner in a bold but rash attempt against Montreal, was put in irons and sent to England as a traitor. In retaliation, General Prescott, who had been taken at the mouth of the Sorel, was put in close confinement for the avowed purpose of subjecting him to the same fate which Colonel Allen . . .

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