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General Charles Lee a Traitor

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II.  Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

June 30.—By a person from Winchester, in Virginia, which place he left last Wednesday week, (20th,) we hear that a desperate knot of Tories has been discovered. A man, formerly a Hessian soldier, had been observed at Martinsburg several times very busy among the Saratoga prisoners, and upon strong suspicion of his conduct, he was apprehended, when, to avoid immediate death, he confessed, after having been twice tied up. A party were directly sent to examine the person, who, he said, was to be their colonel, but whose name this informant does not recollect. The colonel was taken prisoner, and upon searching his house they found a great number of guineas, copies of commissions, and other papers, by which it appeared that Charles Lee, Esq., (formerly a Continental general,) was to be their principal commander. A detachment of the militia light-horse was immediately sent to Lee’s house, but he had gone off, and it was generally supposed in Virginia, that he had got safe into the British lines. A report also prevails in town, that General Charles Lee has joined Earl Cornwallis at Williamsburgh in Virginia.

In confirmation of the above, is a letter from a member of Congress at Philadelphia, saying that “General Lee has sold all his property, and deserted to the enemy.”1


1 Upcott, vi. 207; Rivington, July 7.