Proclamation of Nathaniel Greene 8/26/1781
Papers of the Congressional Congress M247-175 v. 2 pg. 290
National Archives and Records Administration
Transcribed by Billy Markland

South Carolina

By Nathaniel Greene Esquire Major General commanding the American Army in the Southern department


Whereas on the fourth day of this present month Colonel Isaac Haynes commanding a regiment of Militia in the Service of the United States was captured by a party of British troops, and after a rigorous confinement in the Provost in Charles Town, most cruelly and unjustifiably condemned and executed in open violation of the Cartel agreed on between the commanders of the two Armies for the releif [sic] and exchange of prisoners of war.

And Whereas it is no less the duty than the inclination of the Army to resent every violence offered to the good Citizens of America, and disclaim those distinctions set up for discriminating between different orders of men found in arms in support of the Independence of the United States and as those violences [sic] are intended to deter the good people from acting agreeable to their political interest and private inclination, and as the mode of trial and punishment which follow these discriminations are no less opposite to the Spirit of the British constitution, than they are an unwarrantable attack upon the laws of humanity and the rights of the free Citizens of these United States. I have thought fit to Issue this my Proclamation expressly declaring it to be my intention to retaliate for all such inhuman insults as often as they may occur.

And Whereas the Enemy seem willing to expose the few deluded Inhabitants who adhere to their interest if they can but have the opportunity of Sacrificing the many who appear in Support of our cause, I do further declare it my intention to make British Regular officers and not those deluded Inhabitants who have joined their Army, Subjects of retaliation.

But while I am determined to resent every insult that may be offered to the Citizens of the United States for Supporting their Independence, I can not but regret the necessity of appealing to measures so hurtful to the feelings of humanity, and so contrary to those liberal principles on which I would choose to carry on the war.

Given at Head Quarters at Camden the 26th day of August 1781 and in the Sixth year of American Independence.

Nath. Greene

By the Generals Command

Wm. Purce jr.
Aid & Secy.

A true Copy

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