tv American Prisoners of War in the Revolutionary South CSPAN May 14, 2016 12:50pm-1:51pm EDT
visit the society of the cincinnati, where author ick talks about "american prisoners of war in the revolutionary south: 1780-1782." whenoks at the period british forces actively campaigned in the south and fought a series of battles with continental forces. he is also the director of the charleston museum in south carolina and addresses the 1780 seized of charleston, when about 6000 americans were taken prisoner, the most of any engagement during the war. this is about one hour. >> good evening. i am kenzo casey, the museum manager for the american revolution institute. i am pleased to welcome you to our lecture tonight. for those of you new to us, the american revolution institute of the society of the cincinnati is
a nonprofit organization that knowledgeromote the and appreciation of the achievement of american independence by supporting advanced studies, presenting exhibitions, public programs, advocating preservation, and writing resources to students and teachers. during the siege of charleston in 1780, british forces captured nearly 6000 men, seven of whom were generals. this was the largest number of prisoners taken during a single occupy charlestown became the key prisoner depot for the british in the south create what were the dates of these captured men? south.eased -- what would the fates of these captured men? i am pleased to introduce carl borick to answer these questions. he is director of the charleston museum in chow said, south carolina, the author of two
books on the revolutionary war in south carolina. -- charleston, s.c., the author of two books on the revolutionary war in south carolina. won the 2003ense roger award from the south carolina historical society for the years best book in south carolina history. he has served as curator for several special exhibitions at the south charleston museum focusing on the revolutionary war, the second world war and african americans after the civil war. he has appeared as consulting historian on battlefields or the historychannel and detectives for pbs. he received a masters in history from the university of alabama. mr. borick? [applause] borick: thank you, kendall. it is a tremendous honor to be
here at the anderson house tonight. was theleston museum first museum founded in north america in 1773 and we have a close association with the cincinnati society. washington the house, the town house of thomas and the-- hayward, museum acquired the house thanks to a gift from the cincinnati society. agreement isthe that 10% of the cost of the house in exchange for a room in the house in perpetuity, so we are aligned with the cincinnati society for some time in the future. again, thank you to kendall for arranging everything and for inviting me here tonight. what i want to talk about is prisoners of war in the southern campaign. little notes on the title of my
book, relieve us of this burden, ,hat is a quote from balfour the british commandant in charleston during the british occupation. he wrote in the midst of the winter of 1781 to henry clinton, to "relieve us of this burden," using the archaic spelling of burden of the prisoners of war they had to hold, because they were taking up a lot of resources on the part of the british and he really wanted to not be responsible for them anymore. quote could be used for the american prisoners themselves because they certainly had endured a great deal of suffering as prisoners with the british. a little background, prisoners of war throughout history really had a tough road. back in the ancient times, romans would either slaughter or enslave their prisoners and we are all familiar with the suffering of the prisoners at
andersonville, but there were also large numbers of confederate prisoners who died at the union hands in fort delaware. probably the most notorious example are the allied prisoners that fell into the hands of the japanese during world war ii, where you had well over thousands of prisoners dying in their hands. we should not be surprised when we look at prisoners of war during the revolution that they also would have had a tough time. it was a problematic issue for the british on the onset of the war because their natural inclination with have been to -- ife prisoners of war you would not mind? any case, there is natural inclination of the british would be to execute prisoners of war.
this was not a practical solution from their standpoint because any british soldiers that fell in american hands sold also suffer execution, the alternative was not necessarily do that to american prisoners. the other problem that the british paste is that the only sovereign nation combatants deserve to be classified as pows, and throughout the revolutionary war, the british would not recognize united states as a sovereign nation. these were not so bad to start with, however, the first prisoners that the british captured when montgomery and 1775, made an attack in those men were treated fairly well by the governor of canada. during the winter, they were put in warm quarters, given new clothing, said well and in the spring that, they were sent back
to their homes again, so they were treated fairly well. that was not going to be the case around new york later that werer, when the brothers going to attack new york and capture it throughout the summer in campaigns. the american prisoners that were captured at the battle of long island and later at fort washington really were held under tough conditions. keptf the ways they were was aboard prison ships. they were kept on ships in the harbor that had gone past the useful life and stripped of then rigging, mass, and put aboard these vessels, anchored in new york harbor, and the conditions were notoriously in newthe prison ships york harbor. men were packed and type conditions, communicable diseases spread very quickly, and then, such as smallpox, dysentery, it was a common hub
that had the spread of dysentery, but often times there used to bring fresh water. the men were weekend by rations and padded clothing. you are to receive two thirds of the russian of the british soldier but they did not receive healthy rations. one estimate puts estimate of at around 17,000 during the revolutionary war. it was a high mortality rate among the prisoners held in new york. how could a man get away from these horrid conditions on these prison ships? if a man could swim, he could get off of prison ship, that was made a little more difficult, weekend when men were by disease during winter weather, it would not be such an easy thing to do, but you could if you could get off the ship at night and you could swim ashore
and escape that way. another way to escape the conditions, and this may sound like a drastic way to do so, was to enlist with the enemy. this had been a common practice in european wars in the 18th century. many british officers were against it. cornwallis did not advocate for foruiting prisoners recruiting soldiers from the prisoners of war because it was very questionable. they were actively recruiting from the prisoners. number ofited a large men from the prison ships. another way to get out of the miseries of the new prisoner of war was the prisoner of war exchange, and essentially what happened in the exchange was the two sides swapped prisoners. holding prisoners for an 18th-century army was expensive. yoursve to feed the men,
first be reimbursed by the enemy, but you can understand how that would go between the continental congress on the british leaders, and it also took away from troops they could keep in the field as he needed men to guard, so it usually, armies or in favor of prisoner of war exchanges. there were problems, however. theg back to this idea that british did not want to recognize the continental congress as a legitimate party and the continental congress theythis because it recognize them, they would be recognizing american independence. the alternative to this was for the continental congress to authorize partial exchanges, so they would allow general washington to trade likely with clinton or richard howe. when general greene comes to south carolina, he negotiate directly with cornwallis. that leads to our discussion of prisoners in the south.
the war is going to change dramatically for the british after 1778 acres that is when the french will recognize american independence and agree men toide ships and assist the americans. the british are no longer trying to do a colonial rebellion. there are now finding their ancient enemy across the world and the west indies, the mediterranean, india, in places that were much more valuable to the british gun the north american colonies. they can no longer devote the scale of resources to america like they once had. what they're going to do is place greater emphasis on the loyalty. they had been told by the former officials from the southern colonies that there were large numbers in the south. the british simply had to bring a military force their, defeat the rebels and reinstate the loyalists in power. it turned out to be not that easy. the british are going to make their first effort against havana in december 1778 and they
are easily going to take the city. they captured over 500 americans. were put on prison ships and mortality rates are going to be just as had. you also do have a large number of men recruited from these soldiers. interestingly, and cornwallis had predicted this, a number of the men who were recruited from the savanna prison ships deserted shortly after they joined the british forces and rejoined the americans, so that is one of the reasons the british were reluctant to recruit prisoners. the big push against the south is going to come from charleston in 1780. it is going to be led by clinton, the commander in chief of the dish army in north america and the commander of the world -- the royal navy.
get alongmen did not at all. it is a wonder that the seas of trost and was able to succeed of charlestoniege was able to succeed. that is a topic for another day. henry clinton is a fine man to talk about, but in any case, they the seas charleston in april -- they besieged will be thend it largest of the revolutionary war, larger than the siege of yorktown and it ends up being the largest operation in south carolina during the war. our army is going to be dependent on the royal may be. the royal navy brings them to south carolina. they move across the island south of charleston and they are actually going to lock in the harbor, so it is a dependent operation between the royal and british army. tactics formal siege that were used in the 18th
century. they had a series of siege -- and on thehim american peninsula itself. late in the siege, as the british are closing in on the americans, sir henry clinton is going to offer terms to benjamin lincoln, the american commander of charleston. let me back up your. has americars -- he contained in and the royal navy in the harbor, and is held for he has defeated the americans outside of charleston twice, so he offers terms to lincoln. the to call for a cease-fire on may 8. the begin to discuss terms. 2800ln has about continental troops in the militia and french sailors.
lincoln is willing to turn over his continental troops as visitors of war, but he wants his militiamen in town. these are men from the charleston area, south bend north carolina, and he wants them to be able to return to their homes. clinton has hemmed him in on that charleston peninsula, the harbor is cut off and he is not about to allow this. negotiations are going to break down over at this point. clinton is willing to let the militiamen go home, but they must do so as prisoners of war on parole, we need a sign an agreement saying they will not fight against turkish forces again. in thetion's write-down fighting starts up again and charleston undergoes the largest bombardment it was the ends of the civil war. it goes on for two days and hundreds are firing on both sides. in the course of all of that, linking misuse several petitions from the militiamen in charleston. negotiation of
prisoners of war on parole and they say they are perfectly happy going home as prisoners of war, so it is a slap in the face until lincoln, but diaz to sheepishly not go after clinton and ask him for the terms that he had been offered a few days before. clinton browbeat simple little bit but he allows it. the two are going to enter into what is known as the article of capitulation, the formal surrender document or surrender of the city. this is a very important part of those articles. this is article four, which refers to the militia, and it says the militia of the garrison "should be returned to the respective home of prisoners of war on parole. them from being molested in the property by the british troops." last piece is imported. anyway, all these men return to articlemes under the
left cooking to wish and. before they left, they all would have signed a document such as this. this is a parole document of a member of the continental congress in south carolina. they say that they will "not do or cause anything to be done prejudicial to the success of the majesties arms or hold any correspondence with his enemies." stay outlly they would of the fights. despite the paroles that were issued to the militia, large numbers of them are going to return to the fights in south carolina. some of them had good reasons, some did not. one individual named james dixon noticed on the night that he fighting ate from charleston, he burned his parole and the next morning, road often joined patriot forces and he had no justification for doing so. another gentleman, who had more justification for doing so,
named john, a south carolina militia officer and he later said that he fully intended, after taking his parole to "remain peaceably at his he was going to do so. after a couple of weeks, the british legion is going to arrive and demand when it is prized horses. he pulls out his parole document and offers to produce the article capitulation to the soldiers. as they tell him they care nothing for the capitulation and the came from the horse -- the came for the horse and they were going to have it, so they take off with the horse. other units come later and take additional courses. one day when he is out, a group france ask house, they convince his slaves to run off and they harass his wife, telling her that if he had been home, they would have killed him. this is the last straw for him. after he gets home, he goes off,
rides his lost horses and joins the fight. anotherlins was militiamen and he also took his parole. he is taken by a party of loyalists who were serving with patrick ferguson. as he said, he was charged with a breach of parole and try for his life, found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. he was able to escape before that took place and he later goes on to fight the battle of king mountain and guilford courthouse. the british find out that they are fighting against some of the andwho were in the parole you can imagine how that would go over. the men had given their solemn word not to serve again and they were back serving and fighting against the british. the incident that will while the british the most -- that will rile the british to most is
after the siege. many of them men were from charleston and they were allowed to return in the city. will remain in the city. pen, the battle of cow british captured a number of american officers and they find in the papers, letters from men in charleston on parole to the patriots. they will send parties of soldiers throughout the city to them,men's houses, arrest put them on a ship in the harbor and send them off to saint augustine, florida. these were prominent men. thetenant governor in continental congress, thomas hayworth, signed the declaration of independence, said there is a tremendous outcry from the continental congress. they have been sent out an
exiled. they probably should not have worried about them too much. one man wrote in his journal that they regularly fished for bass in the creeks nearby and they had orange trees in their front yard. in addition, they had their servants sent from charleston to take care of them. that they had to exiled them from the colonies and this outraged the americans. the british probably had more justification to be unhappy because these men had broken the promises that they had taken in the article of capitulation. the prisoners that were held in charleston were certainly held under much more harsh conditions and the gentleman sent to saint augustine. these were the continental prisoners. capitulation,e of the continental enlisted men would be held in the city of charleston. the continental officers were sent on parole over to mount pleasant, right across the river from charleston south. what happens with the continental prisoners, or the
ones that stephen charleston? they would be capped first in the barracks in the city. capped -- kept first in the barracks of the city. they were within 100 yards during the siege of charleston, so here's the american defense line. this rectangle is the barracks. these soldiers knew every cranny of these defense lines. they fought at them for six weeks, so they knew where to get in and out. ofr the course of the summer 1780, large numbers of men slip out of the barracks and will be able to escape from charleston. one was estimated that about 1000 men escaped from charleston and most would have done so in the summer of 1780, when they were kept in the barracks.
what happens is that the british realized this is happening, but after the battles that fishing creek, the bottles -- the british have about another bunch of prisoners to take care of. one interesting group, they send them down in groups from cams and after the battle, and about 150 men are being escorted by british troops and their ambushed by francis marion. takes them back to find that about 70 of them do not want to go with them but they want to be held as prisoners of war. these are people who have had -- you had pretty much had it. they had not been paid in months and a were much more willing to go as prisoners of war to charleston then go off with marion and to who knows what. these men had to the numbers in
charleston, so it the escape going on and additional numbers, the british make the critical decision in regards to the future of many of them men, and they put them avoid prison ships in charleston harbor, so they would have been in the ashley river, the cooper river, and they put them on the prison ships in a very difficult time of the year in charleston. one visitor of charleston, in spring is paradise, in summer is hell, and in the fall is a graveyard. the reason for this is you had mosquito borne illnesses in the .all of charleston yellow fever, malaria, so the men are put on board the ships at the time these are raging. you have large numbers of men perishing from this disease during the fall and winter of 1781. in fact, so many die that
balfour writes that more men are that hada daily basis been escaping during the previous summer. is still a possibility. it is not as easy when the men were held in the barracks. if you could swim, he could get off of the prison ship. another man, william cannon, took another attack hurried he waited monday for the british guards to come out on a small boats, before the other guards took the ship back to shore, and he got in the boat and went to join general marion. in the midst of the suffering, you have coming to charleston a man named lord charles montague. he was the lawyer with south carolina. he was a royal governor before the war. he was now stationed with british forces at jamaica. jamaica was a weekly defendant
at the heavy threat in the west indies from french and spanish forces, so he is looking for ways to bolster the defenses at jamaica, so he comes to south carolina with the hope of raising some former countrymen. city,going to come to the and he is going to first ask balfour if he can raise men in south carolina and he finds the patriot sentiment is so strong in south carolina that it makes little sense to do that. he asks if he can recruit from the prisoners. all four is not sure what to do. -- balfour is not sure what to do. he cannot ask cornwallis directly and he asks clinton and he blows him off a little bit, so he tells montague to go ahead and recruit from the prisoners. reaction from the men. some are willing to join him. what montague does is he offers them a bounty, but the big part
of it was he promised them that they would not have to fight against the countrymen and they would go off and fight in jamaica and it would not have to face their countrymen back in north america. some did join voluntarily. many were strong-armed. there is a number of american accounts that said tradition sergeants came aboard the ships, they kicked men over the side into the boats waiting below, so not everybody joined voluntarily. montague and said the in successful. this is the lieutenant colonel's company will in the duke of cumberland regiment, the name of montague's regiment, which is 1783, and he ends up raising eight companies, a total of 600 men. of these man, 47% came from virginia. 27% from maryland and 20% from north carolina. roughly equal to
percentages of the prisoners of charleston, so that does not mean that virginians were less loyal, but virginians just made up most of the prisoners in charleston. look at the motivation of the men who did join willingly. many of the men had lost hope in the continental congress that their own states would send them any support. littleere in rags or had clothing at all. they had no money to purchase any supplies. die had seen comrades around them in battle, on the prison ships or barracks. they had served honorably for the patriots, but their officers had not been preceded their efforts. i want to focus on two soldiers in particular to understand a little bit more about the motivations of those who willingly joined the duke of cumberland's regiment under lord montagu. they were daniel sellers and william. immigrants a scottish
, his made tongue was gaelic and had been born donald sellers. he joined in the spring of 1776 and joined captain joseph bowman's company. the north carolina brigade marched north and the rat this score michigan on the eve of valley forge. he was at valley forge at the winter. or during the winter. on stony the attack point in 1779. in the fall of 1770 nine, general washington realized that the situation in the south was growing dyer and he began to dispatch some of his brigades. first, he said the north carolina brigade. we are to march beginning in november 1779 and they arrive in north carolina around business time. the men areome of going to refuse to march any further. they had not been paid in several months, clothing wasn't
much of condition. the north carolina officers are going to act quickly to quell the mutiny and they round the gentleman that and they ticked about out in front of the brigade and they are gunned down, so you can imagine the impact this had on the soldiers. it had some impact because the next day, the brigade marches off to south carolina. load you had a similar experience to daniel sellers. he enlisted in march 1777. he was 13 years old when he went as a substitute for his father and later served as a musician in the eighth of north carolina and later in the second and third regiment. he served at the bridle of germantown, brandywine and spent the winter at valley forge. like sellers, he marched in the fall 1779 southward and probably would have also witnessed the execution of those years.
in the attacks on charleston, the two men would have served with the north carolina brigade. sellers actually wasn't in a squarish right before the siege of charleston started. this is the american defense line. prior to the siege, the british marched on the peninsula. sellers is sent out to attack of march on the action 30, which takes place, he is wounded in the leg and he carries the musket ball that he received that they in his leg the rest of his life. forcaptain, who yet known four years, was killed on that day and it probably had some impact on him. and william sought extensive action during the siege. they would have been on alert date and nights and digging and repairing trenches constantly, exposed to exploding shells, small arms, and very heavy duty
on the part of north carolinians. this is co-ginsburg aid, and they would have been posted in that general area. like the other charleston prisoners, they would have suffered heavily. on may 12, when the american army surrendered, they marched in and surrender their arms front of the american defenses. during the summer, they were held in the barracks, but in september, many of the other soldiers were sent to prison ships. the condition of the north carolina soldiers was particularly bad. the clothing was in terrible shape when they marched to south carolina. and then they served for six weeks which would have made it more deplorable. sellers noted that his clothes "working up with lies and rotted with dirt -- were eaten up with lice- " eaten up with
and rotted with dirt." william noted that he became montagute," so in lord went aboard the prison ships, some of his offers to join his been goodould have news to the ears of men like sellers and william. sellers joined the regiment and later claimed that the number of escapes that had happened from american prisoners had caused the british to treat the remainder with "any cruelty they chose." he was put on the prison ship, which was more than he could stand, having no money and clothing in deplorable shape. he noted that his body and patients were worn out. montague told him he would never be compelled to fight against his country. william also was going to join the regiment. this is williams pension account that he would file after the
revolutionary war. he was put on board the british ship, which he remained there for five months, became destitute and received no help from the united states. he invested in march 1781 for the sole purpose of getting clothing. the condition of the investment is that he would you do go to the spanish main or jamaica and not with a view to fight against the united states. kathy had to fight back, he would've deserted from the british forces, so he is claiming the poor conditions forced him to join montagu. were in diremen straits and they felt that they had no choice but to join montagu. things were going on as montagu was raising his regiment in south carolina and in north carolina because a new commander has been appointed to the seven department, nathanael greene.
as i mentioned earlier, green was given authority to treat the british men tend to into prisoner of war exchanges. green contacts cornwallis within one week after arriving and he the potential prisoner of war exchange. several things will hold this up. one was the treatment of prison -- a british prisoners captured at the battle of cap pens. owpens. they said "the cruelty exercised within them was almost [indiscernible] accept thecould not shedding of their blood. apparently what had happened was the militiamen had been appointed as the guards as they were marched into north carolina and they were treated pretty atrociously. green responded that there was an extraordinary degree of humanity that have been exercised on the day of the
action, but he also recognized that many of the breeders -- many of the british soldiers had escaped so they cannot have been confined to closely. the other problem between green and cornwallis was that nobody knew what or who had what prisoners. the british had an idea of the numbers of continentals captured at charleston, but so many escaped and they did not know how many were left. you also had large numbers of militiamen been captured by both sides, so they were very unsure of who had what prisoners. not until the end of march that they draw up proposals and it is not until may 3 that the final exchange agreement is signed between the sides. by that time, montagu had time to go onto the ships and raise his men and he sails off in may with his new regiment. the negotiations dragged on so long, they cannot do
anything to save the man. in terms of the prisoner of war exchange, the agreement was that all private soldiers would be free to all the continentals left in charleston, british prisoners being held in america and they were set free. the american officers and british hands exceeded the number of british officers and american hands. the american officers were allowed to go home on parole. and then all the militiamen on both sides were considered free by the prisoner of war exchange. what is going to become of the men who joined the duke of cumberland regiment? the men who were afraid in the prisoner of war exchange were allowed to go home and some are going to return to serve with the army, but what happens to men like sellers and william? regiments, the duke of cumberland regiment is going
to be disbanded at the end of the revolutionary war. the men who served in jamaica had not ever really gotten to see an action. the closest they got to seeing wasreal military service guarding french naval prisoners captured at the battle of the saints by rodney, his great victory, but they really never sought any service in jamaica. at the end of the war, a disbanded the regiment. the men could stay jamaica, go to england or they could go to nova scotia, where they would receive bounty land from the british government. jamaica,ho stayed in large numbers of them would find american ships that had sailed into jamaican ports and return home that way. large numbers that go to nova scotia are going to actually returned to america later and some of them are going to receive pensions from the federal government. theyesting about that is
lay out specifically that if men had deserted or if they had served with the enemy forces, then they disqualified themselves from receiving the pensions. one of the gentlemen who is going to receive a pension is william spain. via's going to make his way back to north carolina by 1797. church, who isy resident of north carolina. they end up having five children and he settles down to the life of a farmer. 1818, when the first federal pension act is going to be passed, and that act required ofdiers show some degree poverty in order to get a pension. they have to demonstrate need, so in his application, he writes to the pension office and he gives an inventory and he notes hehe notes that he is 260 acresf poor woodland. if any of you have been to
eastern north carolina, you know what that means. 30 gallon still, nearly worn out. he is 40 dogs, three beehives, 11 heads of poultry and geese. two spinning wheels and assorted tools. harnesses and other things which he describes in great detail. i'm not sure how much property he can really claim. he did claim that his wife was quite helpless with romantic fever while he had two daughters and two sons who could work but were also regularly sick. notably sawhe himself as poor, but was also unhappy with his family. that might be what he called the still nearly worn out. in any case, he may have overstated his poverty. then, he will also tell another truth. he will look back at his
pension. he went to jamaica. he received nothing but closing and wages. he received no bounty land. if we look at the land grants that were given to the men in nova scotia. he received 200 acres of bounty. i chose the real story. he laid out like he did. beerestingly, it will not the last time. he was apparently very vocal
with his neighbors about what happened during war. it was an 1835. they were so happy with his vote that they turned him into the pension office. the pension office is going to maintain his pension. issue.e this as a local either that or some federal employee did not want to get bogged down with it. he will maintain the pension. the pension office continues to pay his widow. donald sellers would not have had such a happy ending. he never returns to the u.s.. he does apply for a pension. while living in nova scotia.
it was in spain. he blames the government. he says continental congress paid wages and close them as a soldier, he would not have had to make such a terrible choice. yet, he had been totally unappreciated by his government. case.it does not help his he was denied a pension by the federal government. probably will attempt him off was the residence in nova scotia. office notedension that large numbers of loyalist had gone to nova scotia after the war. that was probably one of the reasons he was denied, in addition to the service with the enemy. it was a very bitter code for him to swallow. i value, he wrote later " my status as a soldier far more than the money. his son writes the office on his behalf, also to no avail.
since the war, he cared and musket ball in his leg. he wishes for resolution so that his father's name and character may go down in peace. what does this brief examination of these gentlemen and the prisoners of war in the south tell us about the war in the south about those prisoners? instances of men escaping or breaking parole to rejoin the fight says something about the degree of resistance to the british in the south in south carolina. there were literally risking her next to do so. they could very well be hung.
it is probably the most egregious example of isaac haynes for south carolina militia colonel who was captured in the siege. he wanted to care for his sick family. when patriot forces overtake his area, they convince him to go back to the field. they said because they had taken his district that did away with his parole promise, he is captured by the british forces. they had had enough of these gentlemen breaking these allegiance and breaking parole, and he be executed by the british officers in charlestown. so, that desire was strong to go back and fight. but, it did have its limits. certainly, those in maryland and delaware were continentals who decided to go to charleston as prisoners of war. certainly, men such as william spain and donald sellers to join
the british would have fallen into the same category. but, we have to look at their overall experience. the research and a great deal of suffering among these prisoners. they had very little clothing, there are subject to malaria and is a diseases, there feeling of hopelessness among them that they had a lack of support from the state government and the continental congress. i felt abandoned by their country. there is no question that they bore a heavy burden, and, if you look at daniel sellers who felt abandoned and unappreciated by his country, he would take those feelings to his grave. for men like donald sellers who had made the decision to join the british forces and wondered if he had done the right thing, it was a particular burden he would have to carry within the rest of his life. we should remember that before we judge them too harshly. thank you. [applause]
>> i guess we have time for questions. yes sir. >> i am interested in the continental army officers that were captured. held at mountwere pleasant. i'm interested in one in particular, the man who designed washington, d.c.. the font. i'm wondering if there is a list of these officers, and if so, how does his name appear. >> concerning the continental officers who were taken in, and it will font was one of those prisoners. they were sent on parole over to mount pleasant.
some of the americans felt this was done intentionally to separate them from the men which would make it easier for british troops to go in and recruit among them. bell font is on that. i want to say it might be the new york public library. i have that reference. i can give it to you. you know, interestingly, my view new william mohs ring. he was a brigadier general. he reached out to mohs agreed, and mohs or was quite taken back that montague would have even considered asking him. he really saw it as an attack on his honor. so, he was very active in the cincinnati society in south carolina. >> i am wondering if you could talk for a minute about the tactical or strategic impact of that burden of summary thousands
of soldiers. did that have any impact on the american ability to come back and win later, after do. that the war had been lost in the south. >> that's a great question. the question was how does the impact of losing all these men come how to the americans recover from that? of the largest loss of american troops to a foreign enemy. there were bigger losses during the civil war. men,ick over 6000 washington realized that the war was moving south. in fact, as the siege was ongoing, he had dispatched to brigades to south carolina. virginia, youina, have the siege. really, you have so much resistance to the british in
south carolina, one of the problems that lincoln had was that he did not get as many militia and men into town as it wanted to. belief thate smallpox was raising in charleston at the time. the flipside of that is that those men were available to resist the british under men like francis marion thomas, andrew pickens in the summer of 1880. when cornwallis and gets into the backcountry of south carolina, he runs into a hornets nest. i was talking to someone before , putting down an insurgency. whether it is an insurgency in south carolina or insurgency in , or been in 2000, it is very difficult when you limit an armed force. so, the british faced a lot of the same problems in 1780.
>> this is a follow-up to the gentleman in the front with the question about the list of officers. this is a question for a friend of mine. there with clinton's papers in the officers. i get that question all the time. unfortunately, there is not. that there ise is some payroll of the american regiment immediately prior to the fall of charleston. unfortunately, there is no risk of enlist in residence we are taking. i have folks interested in genealogy as camille the time. what i had to do in terms of doing my research for the book was to focus on the new
application. it is easy to track down pension applications. as well as find men who fought at the siege of charleston. >> my ancestor talked about being released from the prisoner of war. but that a general case? >> the question was concerning a soldier who was a prisoner in jamestown. the terms of the exchange agreement with cornwallis require that americans a charlestown be transported to virginia. because, the british did not want those men immediately able to move through south carolina. had toicers in virginia
go through new york before they could go anywhere else. >> you said that officers who were allowed to go home on parole, i believe it was after may of 1782. in february of 1783, there were still officers on the role to talk about charleston who were not from charleston. i'm wondering what their story was. >> because the british had something more prisoners then the americans had british officers. one for them to be exchanged for. the general exchange of enlist not worryrs, they do about numbers. they did not know how many they had. they had a good account of the officer corps.
i think candidate being a prisoner of war. it was something that went through 1783. that answer your question? >> they did not go home, contrary to the apparent permission to go home. number of them worth the dust from the third of south carolina, and number of them or finally exchanged on the first of may in 1783. but they were definitely in 1783eston in february of when they signed a petition to the south carolina senate asking for relief. that was after the british had evacuated charleston. >> as i said, there were a number of prisoners who were prisoners water than the others.
>> we have recently heard about interrogation techniques that were used. can you please tell me about if the british employed interrogation techniques. maybe they had officers to gain intelligent, and, if you know what resulted on that at all? definitelye instances of abuse of enlisted prisoners, generally by a sergeant or noncommissioned officer. it was not for the view to gain intelligence out of them. with regard to the officer corps, even the british, even though they would never recognize american independence, they did extend a certain degree of civility to american officers. did notroles of war allow that kind of activity in the 18th century.
>> were there any arrangements made so that the prisoners could exchange mail with family members." -- members? >> there were. problem with enlisted men in the -- most of the american enlisted are illiterate. they would have to get somebody to sending correspondence. officers were free to correspond with their families. there were some instances or the british were essentially censoring the officers mail. was an officer in south carolina was on parole in charleston. the oldew him in exchange prison because he corresponded with a friend of his the beaufort area. the british were monitoring the correspondence. they had really gotten burned by
the correspondence they found in the gates papers that recaptured -- that were captured. >> i understand that we have for them giving 200 acres enlisting in the british army. i'm having trouble understanding why north carolina would validate or can from the bounty? after the war. the question was concerning spain having received bounty lands and comes still be able to get the pension. said in his pension application was that he did that received bounty land. the document i showed with a receiving that, that was a chat about dough in nova scotia. americans would not have been familiar with that. there is no way for them to
know. so, that would have been something to slip out of the course. correct. thank you all. have a great evening. [applause] >> thank you for attending. our next public program will be on may 17 on the book of washington and morals. it is the first maryland regiment. we hope to see you all. >> interested in american history tv? visit our website c-span.org/history. he can see the upcoming schedule or watch recent programming. american artifacts, wrote to the white house rewind.
>> the campaign 2016 bus contributors to honor winners of the student cam competition. they recognize six times to the cam winner for a second prize video in the world. they were with family and community members. the bus then traveled to west scranton intermediate school in pennsylvania to honor eighth-graders for their second prize video national immigration issues. during the ceremony, they donated $500 of the $1500 community of scranton. following this event, the bus drove to clinton township middle school in new jersey. they had the second prize winning video next big problem. overturning 50 classmates teachers and elected officials including congressman leonard lance. a special thanks to our cable partner comcast for hoping to
coordinate these community visits. you can view all the way documentaries at student cam.org. >> next, on american history tv, holocaust survivor and a gross recalls her family's experiences after getting an annexed portion of romania that included their hometown, and then opposed anti-semitic laws. the family was confined along with other jews to a ghetto when nazi germany occupied hungary. there transported to the auschwitz concentration camp in poland. and, later forced to perform hard labor. this event was part of the united states memorial museum's first-person series. it is a little over one hour. >> the life stories of holocaust survivors transcend the decade. which were about to hear from anna is one individual's account of the holocaust. we have prepared aef