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    Six weeks before leading the siege of Savannah, General Lincoln receives this letter from British General Prevost about exchanging prisoners

    Augustine Prevost Manuscript Letter Signed "A Prevost," 1.5 pages, 8" x 12.75", front and verso. Head Quarters, Savannah, August 1, 1779. To General Benjamin Lincoln. In part, "I had the honour of yours of the 20th ulto by Major Hyrne, by whose arrival with powers to treat of and adjust all matters relative to exchange of Prisoners of War. I was in hopes so very desirable an Object in every respect, more particularly on the Score of Humanity, might be brought to a Conclusion, on a footing of equality, and consequently agreeable to both Parties. I had therefore sent Captain Shaw my Aid de Camp with the most ample Powers on our Part to treat with Major Hyrne. But finding Major Hyrne's Powers not full as not intending to a fair and general Exchange without distinction & without exception. I am sorry to say that very little has been concluded tho' I dare say the Gentleman employ'd had all the good intentions in the world to forward and finally to settle so good a business. Whilst distinctions are made between Prisoners to the State and Prisoners to the Army, and alleged Crimes against the State are made causes of the detention of others in the severest State of Captivity and deeming them uneligible to exchange, it will be impossible for us to treat on any footing of equality..." Major Edmund M. Hyrne was the Commissary of Prisoners. In the winter of 1778, British General Henry Clinton ordered Brigadier General Augustine Prevost to invade Georgia. In January 1779, the British captured Savannah. Major General Benjamin Lincoln, recently appointed Southern commander of the Continental Army, realized that the loss of Savannah was key and set out to regain the coastal Georgia port. A month after this letter was written, on September 16, 1779, British forces at Savannah under Prevost's command came under siege by a combined force of Americans led by General Lincoln and

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
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