Copy of Earl
Cornwallis' letter to General Washington, dated York, in
Virginia, 18th October,
I AGREE to open a treaty of capitulation upon the basis of
the garrisons of York and Gloucester, including seamen,
being prisoners of war, without annexing the condition of
their being sent to Europe; but I expect to receive a
compensation in the articles of capitulation for the
surrender of Gloucester in its present state of defence.
I shall in particular desire, that the Bonetta sloop of war
may be left entirely at my disposal, from the hour that the
capitulation is signed, to receive an aid de camp to carry
my dispatches to Sir Henry Clinton. Such soldiers as I may
think proper to send as passengers in her, to be manned with
fifty men of her own crew, and to be permitted to sail,
without examination, when my dispatches are ready engaging,
on my part, that the ship shall be brought back and
delivered to you, if she escapes the dangers of the sea;
that the crew and soldiers shall be accounted for in future
exchanges; that she shall carry off no officer without your
consent, nor public property of any kind; and I shall
likewise desire, that the traders and inhabitants may
preserve their property, and that no person may be punished
or molested for having joined the British troops.
I f you chuse to proceed to negociation on these grounds, I
shall appoint two field officers of my army to meet two
officers from you, at any time and place that you think
proper, to digest the articles of capitulation.
I have the honour to be, &c.
(From A History of the Campaigns of 1780 and 1781, in the
Southern Province of North America?, by
Lieutenant-Colonel Tarleton, pp433-437.)
Tarleton, Ch 6., [X], p. 433d