Letter from General Putnam with a list of the Tory prisoners committed to hard labour at Forts Montgomery and Constitution

v6:1357

Another Letter from General Putnam of this day' s date,

v6:1358

with a list of Tory Prisoners committed to hard labour at the forts, was read and filed.

"Head-Quarters, New-York, June 3, 1776.

"SIR: I am informed by the Earl of Stirling, who has lately visited the fortifications on Hudson' s River, in the Highlands, that there are several persons at Fort Montgomery, sent in there prisoners from the Counties of Westchester, Dutchess, and Albany, by Committees of certain Districts, persons notoriously inimical to the present measures of the United Colonies, with orders to the commanding officer to keep them at hard labour till further orders. How far such a punishment, or the place of confinement may be proper, I will not determine; but as it does not accord with any general rule or order of Congress, I must have some doubts of the propriety of the officers of the Army carrying such an order into execution without some higher authority; and should, therefore, be glad to have the sentiments of the Congress of this Province on this subject. A copy of the names of the prisoners is enclosed.

In consequence of an order of Congress, all the Militia and Minute-men employed in Continental pay, were, soon after the arrival of the Army from Cambridge, dismissed from that service; however, Colonel Nicoll remains in command at Fort Constitution, on a supposition that he has not been properly discharged by the Congress of this Province, who employed him. As the Field-Officers of Colonel Clinton' s Regiment are now ordered to that post, the expense is become unnecessary; and, therefore, it will be proper that Colonel Nicoll be informed of the sentiments of your Congress thereon.

"I am, sir, your most obedient and very humble servant,

"ISRAEL PUTNAM.

"To the President of the Congress of New-York."