TRANSCRIPT GLC 4386
George Washington. Autograph letter signed: Morristown, to
Matthias Ogden, 1782 March 28. 1 p.
To Col[onel] Ogden of the 1 Jersey Regiment
The spirit of enterprise so conspicuous in your plan for
surprising in their quarters, & bringing off the Prince-William
Henry & Admiral Digby, merits applause; and you have my
authority to make the attempt in any manner, & at such
a time as your own judgment shall direct.
I am fully perswaded, that it is unnecessary to caution you
against offering insult or indignity to the persons of the
Prince, or Admiral should you be so fortunate as to capture
them; but it may not be amiss to press the propriety of a
proper line of conduct upon the party you command.
In case of success, you will, as soon as you get them to
a place of safety, treat them with all possible respect, but
you are to delay no time in conveying them to Congress, &
reporting your proceedings with a copy of these orders.
Given at Morristown this 28th day of March 1782.
Note Take care not to touch upon the ground w[hi]ch is agreed
to be Neutral – viz from Raway to Newark & four
Notes: Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington. 24: 91. Punctuation
has been standardized. Matthias Ogden became Lieutenant Colonel
of the 1st New Jersey Continentals in 1776 and assumed command
of the regiment in 1777. Ogden proposed a plan in September
1781 for the capture of Prince William Henry, (the future
king William IV), when the Prince was in New York City with
Admiral Digby. Washington approved the plan, but it was later
compromised and abandoned.