The Papers of General Nathanael Greene


From Doctor David Olyphant

Sir

I have the honour to acquaint you, that I was regularly exchanged before General Lincoln left Chas town, & the Officer I was exchanged for immediatly returned to his duty in the British Hospital; at the General's particular request I remained here on Service, with a certain promise that I should receive Orders speedily from Congress, or the Commander of their Troops on the So[uthern] Department; as yet I have received no Orders. By a letter from Doctor J. Browne to Doctr Robt Johnston, I can learn that my presence is much wanted by your Army. I do assure you Sir, you cannot be more anxious for my presence, than I am to be with you, for duty as well as inclination leads me to Attend wherever the service of the Department requires it.
By [decision?] of the Commander of the British Troops, through the Court of Police, I have been confined close Prisoner to my house for near five months past, which has totally prevented my Attendance on our Sick, & otherwise much interrupted my Services for their welfare. I humbly conceive by the Laws of War & of Nations, I am not amenable to a Court of his Appointment for any transaction that happened before the reduction of Chas town, the unfortunate period of my Captivity, the particulars of this process I take the liberty to transmit you by this Conveyance. Permit me then to request that you will be pleased to take such steps, as may procure my Enlargment from so rigorous a treatment. If Governr Rutledge is with you, I beg to present him with my most respectful Compliments, & hope for his interest in my behalf. Genl Moultrie has made every necessary Application here but to my sorrow without success.
This is handed to you by Doctor Peter Fayssoux, Senior Physician and Surgeon in this Hospital, by Genl Lincoln's concurrence he was nominated Physician & Surgeon General to the Army last Febry, in this Character he latterly acted, & his Appointment was recommended to Congress. With your approbation he is exchanged for a Surgeon's Mate in the British Service, now prisoner at New Berne. I am happy to have it in my power to forward a gentleman to your assistance of his Merit & Abilities in his Profession; from the length of time and Rank in the Service, I apprehend he has a right to take Charge & Superintendancy of the Hospital. 'Till I have the honour to join you, I flatter myself this recommendation will meet with your support.
I have furnished Genl Moultrie with Returns of our Sick, & I suppose he will send them forward to you by this opportunity. I have at the same time sent to the Medical Committee of Congress a full state of the Department. I refer you to Doctr Fayssoux for all the particulars of our Wants & Distresses, & pray suffer me to importune your assistance, as far as it is in your power to r[e]lieve us. I have the honour to be with much Esteem Sir

Your most Obedient & very hble Servant

David Olyphant

Autograph letter signed (Louis R. Lau, 1986) 2 pp.