By Colonel Mathews I informed your Excellency fully of the situation of Governor Hamilton and his companions. Lamothe and Dejean have given their paroles, and are at Hanover Court-House: Hamilton, Hay, and others, are still obstinate; therefore, still in close confinement, though their irons have never been on, since your second letter on the subject. I wrote full information of this matter to General Phillips also, from whom I had received letters on the subject. I cannot, in reason, believe that the enemy, on receiving this information either from yourself or General Phillips, will venture to impose any new cruelties on our officers in captivity with them. Yet their conduct, hitherto, has been most successfully prognosticated by reversing the conclusions of right reason. It is, therefore, my duty, as well as it was my promise to the Virginia captives, to take measures for discovering any change which may be made in their situation. For this purpose, I must apply for your Excellency’s interposition. I doubt not but you have an established mode of knowing, at all times, through your commissary of prisoners, the precise state of those in the power of the enemy. I must, therefore, pray you to put into motion any such means you have, for obtaining knowledge of the situation of Virginia officers in captivity. If you should think proper, as I could wish, to take upon yourself to retaliate any new sufferings which may be imposed on them, it will be more likely to have-due weight, and to restore the unhappy on both sides, to that benevolent treatment for which all should wish.
I have the honor to be, &c. &c.
LETTER XIV.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, December 10,1779
TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.