<br /> Lee Letter: n123

Washington and Lee University

Sender: George Washington
Recipient: Thomas Sim Lee


On the 2d. Instant I received the Honor of Your Excellency’s Letter of
the 8th Ulto. and also one from the Board of War on the same subject.
The information the Council had received, of particular States having
made exchanges of prisoners taken by them for Officers belonging to
their line, was well founded. It has been done in several instances,
tho’ without any interference in the business on my part, and therefore
I could not but direct the Commissary of prisoners on Your Excellency’s
application and the Board of War’s opinion that it was also warranted
by a late Act of Congress respecting prisoners in the like predicament,
to propose to the Enemy the Exchange of Lt Colo Ramsay for Lt Colo
Conolly. For my own part I have wished to see the Exchanges of
prisoners conducted on the broadest and most general footing; in the
order of their captivity; as being the most equitable mode; and that
all taken from the Enemy whether by the United or Individual States,
should be considered as one common stock, for the common relief of Ours
according to this Rule. This has been the case with respect to the
prisoners made by the Army in every instance of exchanges under my
direction; but the System having not entirely prevailed, Maryland has
certainly the same right to benefit her Officers by those of her own
capture, that other States had. And the indulgence has not been
exercised in any instance in favor of a more deserving Officer than
Colo Ramsay. He set out for New York yesterday and would carry with him
the proposition for his release.

I have the Honor



1 In the writing of Robert Hanson Harrison.