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March 3, 1781.

Ordered, That the convention prisoners, as well in the State of Maryland as Virginia, be removed, the British to Yorktown, and the Germans to Lancaster, in the State of Pennsylvania, or such other place or places within the said State as the executive thereof shall direct; and that it be, and hereby is, recommended to the executive of the State of Virginia to superintend the removal, safe-keeping, and supply of the Germans to Noland's Ferry, on Potomac River; from which place it is recommended to the executive of the State of Maryland to superintend their removal, safe-keeping, and supply to the borders of that State, and to continue their guard to Lancaster, the State of Pennsylvania furnishing the necessary supplies; that it be, and it is, also recommended to the State of Maryland to provide a guard and furnish the supplies for the convention prisoners to be removed from Fredericktown to Yorktown, the guard to continue on to Yorktown, but the supplies, after entering Pennsylvania, to be furnished by that State; that the executive of the State of Pennsylvania be, and hereby is, requested to order the supplies agreeably to the above resolutions and make the necessary preparations for the reception of prisoners at the towns or places assigned as aforesaid, and upon their arrival at those places, respectively, the Board of War take order for their future security and supply.

September 18, 1781. Resolved, That the Board of War be, and are hereby, directed to set apart 500 British prisoners, including a due proportion of officers, to whom exchange shall be denied, until the American prisoners now in Great Britain be returned to these States by exchange or otherwise.

That the Board of War report a plan and an estimate of the expense for erecting Symsbury mines, in the State of Connecticut, into a State prison for the reception of British prisoners of war, and for the purpose of retaliation.

September 25, 1781.—"The deputy commissary of prisoners will report to headquarters all prisoners of war immediately after their capture.” (Orders, General Hleadquarters, Williamsburgh.)

October 16, 1781.-Congress declared that their order of August 5, 1780, for the discharge of Capt. George Turner, did not proceed from any malpractice or dishonorable procedure on his part.

November 23, 1781. Resolved, That the superintendent of finance and Board of War be, and hereby are, authorized and directed to take immediate order for the safe-keeping and support of the prisoners of war in the possession of the United States, so as to ensure their safety as much as may be, and to render their support less burthensome to the finances of these States.

April 10, 1782. Resolved,

That the commissary-general of prisoners, so far as respects the securing of military prisoners and making returns of them, take his directions from the Secretary at War.


That the care and direction of prisoners of war be vested in the Secretary at War, so far as respects their safe-keeping.

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April 23, 1782. Resolved,

That the supernumerary junior lieutenants, beyond the number of ten in each regiment of infantry, be reduced,

except such of them as shall accept of appointments in the staff departments, with the approbation of the heads of the respective departments, in which case they shall severally retain their respective ranks in the Army and be entitled to the full pay and subsistence belonging to their rank in the line, as a compensation for their respective services in the staff, without any other allowance whatsoever.

July 3, 1782. Resolved, That the Secretary at War be, and he is hereby, authorized and empowered to cause courts-martial to be forthwith holden on the several commissaries and assistant commissaries of prisoners, at York, Reading, and Lancaster for disobedience of orders and neglect of duty in suffering the escape of prisoners at those posts;

And that the Secretary at War be, and he is hereby, authorized to appoint proper persons to take charge of the prisoners of war at the said places until the said commissaries shall be discharged from their arrest or Congress shall otherwise direct.

July 4, 1782.

Resol red, That all resolutions and appointments respecting the department of the commissary-general of prisoners be, and hereby are repealed.

That the commander in chief be, and hereby is, empowered to appoint, from time to time, a commissary of prisoners, who shall be subject to his orders and instructions.

That the commanding officer of the southern army have also power to appoint from time to time a commissary of prisoners, who shall be subject to his orders and instructions.

That the power of negotiating the exchange of marine prisoners be henceforth vested in the agent of marine, who is hereby authorized to appoint a commissary for marine prisoners, to be subject to his orders and instructions.

That the Secretary at War be, and he is hereby, authorized from time to time to appoint so many persons as he may find necessary to assist him in superintending and safe-keeping all prisoners of war, reporting such appointments to Congress as soon as they shall be made.

That the Secretary at War direct returns to be made once in every three months (or oftener if applied for) to the commander in chief of all land prisoners, and to the agent of marine of all marine prisoners, who shall be under his charge.

That the pay of the commissaries for the Army shall be 75 dollars per month each, and they shall each be allowed two rations of provisions per day and 12 dollars per month subsistence, and also 63 dollars per month each for a servant, for whom they shall draw from the public the clothing and ration allowed to a private soldier, together with forage for two horses each, which pay and allowance shall include what they may be entitled to from the public as officers in the Army.

That the commissary to be appointed by the agent of marine shall receive in full for his services, including any pay or allowances that he may be entitled to as an officer of the United States, the sum of 1,200 dollars

per annum. That the allowance of pay and rations to the persons to be appointed by the Secretary at War to assist him in superintending and safekeeping prisoners of war shall not exceed 40 dollars per month and four rations per day, or subsistence equivalent, including what they may be entitled to as officers of the Army.

September 22, 1782.—“By virtue of the power vested in the Commander in Chief by the resolve of the honorable the Congress of the 24th July last, Lieut. Col. Wm. S. Smith is appointed commissary of prisoners to the army in this quarter.” (Orders, General Headquarters, Verplanck's Point.)

October 23, 1782.


That the following be the proportion of wagons and bathorses to the different ranks of officers,

Commissary of prisoners, one two-horse wagon.

Deputy commissary of prisoners, southern army, one two-horse wagon.


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AN ACT for the safe-keeping and accommodation of prisoners of war.'

That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, authorized to make such regulations and arrangements for the safe-keeping, support, and exchange of prisoners of war as he may deem expedient, until the same shall be otherwise provided for my law;

1 Repealed by act of March 3, 1817 (3–358).



May 12, 1865.—Maj. Oliver 0. Howard (Maine), Commissioner. June 30, 1872.--Bureau discontinued.

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