The Papers of General Nathanael Greene


From Lord Cornwallis

Sir

1s I forbear mentioning at present the Prisoners taken by General Morgan but shall wait untill facts are better authenticated as I think the reports, which I have heard of the cruelties exercised on them, are almost incredible. 2d But I must remark that the appearance of our Prisoners found in Salisbury Jail, shocked me extremely, as it was evident that they had been denied common sustenance. This however I do not impute to you, as by your distance from them, you may have been unacquainted with their sufferings. As the situation of Prisoners of War, even without studied insult and barbarity, is liable to many inconveniences and hardships, nd from motives of humanity, I think it proper to propose to you an exchange of Prisoners beginning with those at present in possession of this army, at the same time agreeing on an equitable & convenient mode of exchanging the Prisoners at Charlestown. I must desire that you will please to send your answer to this proposal as soon as you conveniently can. For the close manner in which we are obliged to Confine the Prisoners in Charlestown, to prevent their escape, must prove fatal to many of them when the warm weather commences. I have therefore determined if they are not removed in the course of next month, (unless an exchange is finally settled) to send them, to His Majesty's Islands in the West Indies, where they will be more commodiously confined or if they chuse it, be permitted to serve in the British Regiments employed there, or on the Spanish Main. I am, Sir,

your Most obedt Humble Servant

Cornwallis

Draft (PRO 30/11/91) 3 pp.