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KILLING THEIR OWN SIDE'S SPY

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POSEY'S AFFIDAVITS TO GOV. CLINTON AND GENERAL GEORGE WASHINGTON

The following letter, which was sent on Sept. 23, had been preceded by correspondence between Col. William Butler and Governor Clinton as early as Sept. 6 and 8, when Clinton sent affidavits to Butler, outlining eyewitness accounts of what went on at Pakatakan (these affidavits seem to be missing). The Governor threatened to bring charges against the officers. Butler answered on Sept. 27, and sent his own set of affidavits, written by Capt. Gabriel Long, Major Thomas Posey, Alexander Ramsey, and Alexander Harper which are in response to the charges and eyewitness' affidavits. Therefore, these documents should be read as they were intended, as a defense against charges.

"Schohary Middle Fort 23 Sept. 1778
May it Please Your Exellency

I make me of the Freedom to Trouble you with a With a respect to a command, which I ordered out [from?] by Colo. Butler, Jnr., youl be informed by these lines. That Early in the morning of the 24th August. I recd Orders from Colo. Butler to take a command of 60 men with [Proper?] Officers & proceed with with all Possible Expedition to Poughataghton & Pepacton. To Try to fall in with som of the Enemies Parties Known to Frequent these Settlements in order to Drive off the Stock & make Such Discoveries as they thought necessary. My Orders Likewise directed me to Drive off all the Stock & Horses in these Settlements. Accordingly as I have Observed Early in the morning of the 24th I left Schohary & on the 26th got to Poughataghton as I had been well informed these Settlements were Chiefly or all together Inhabited by Tories, I made use of the Precautions [?] [?] in marching through an Enemies Country, not Long after I had Entered the Settlements of Poughataghton, some of my Scouting parties met me, by which I was informed som of the Houses were Evacuated. I Continued to Keep out my Scouting & proceeded with a Possible xpedition through the Settlements. After some short time I came to a House where I found som woman, I askt those woman what had became of the Inthabtants. They informed me that a Scout had been from Esopus

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Esopus, which had taken the Inhabitants & marchd into the Settlement. I could not [set?] what Dependance to put on what the woman said, Especially as I well Knew that a number of Tories from the Frontiers Settlements were daily Flocking to Brandt and Butler. However I did not Take much time But proceeded, & within the distance of a Half a mile in woods I met two men, one Driving a waggon the Other Riding one Horse & leading another, upon Examination the one Driving the waggon was Dumond. I askt the said Dumond where he
Going. He said to Esopus. That a Scout had been in the Settlements & drove of all the Stock & Taken the Inhabitants Prisoners. I askt him If any scouting Parties had Been from Unadilla lately. Or if he Knew whether Brandt & Butler, Commonly sent in Scouting Parties into this Settlement, he said there had. I askt him If he Assisted them, he Told me he had assisted them in Provition, & let them have Beef Cattle & that he assisted his King in what he could the Other man was Examined by Capt. Long of the Rifle Chore who was found to assisted the Enemie likewise. After having this confession mad to me. I not Knowing what might be the Consequence if I let him go, upon consideration. I ordered Capt. Harper of the Militia, which compose part of my Command, So let three of his men as a guard over Dumond & the other man named Burrow. The [Rest?] of the Guard was to take particular care that the prisoners not get away after which I Proceeded Down the Delaware, Thinking the Report I had Recd

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Recd of the men under Guard concerning concerning the scout from Esopus might only be a [ ?] of Deception. That it was likely it might be a party of the Enemie which had been in the settlement in order to get the Stock of there me. After I had proceeded about 6 miles Down the Dellaware, I was informed the Guard had Come up without the Prisoners. I ordered the
Guard to be brought to me, I Inquired of them where the Prisoners were, They told me in Bringing them on, the two Prisoners attempted making there Escape, [two crossed out words] upon which one of the Guard Fired & missed after which one them was There Escape through the woods. The other Kep the Rhoad, which after Pursuing near a mile one of the Guard Fired upon & Shot him, who turned out to be Dumond, after my Expedition Down the Dellaware, and upon my return, I C[page tear] the House where I conversed with the woman, at which Home I found [torn] umond Lying wounded, I askt him his reason for runing from the Guard, he he thought we were a Party Belonging to Brandt or Butler, I Told him he had very Little reasons to think so after the Questions I had askt him Concerning Brandts & Butlers Parties, I askt him If he did not remember he had said he assisted his King, he said yes. He remembered it well, & that he realy had assisted his King in what Lay in his power.

This Letter I make Free to Trouble you with as Knowing that some of the People about Esopus & other places, who are
Friends to this Dumond have been endeavoring to Paint this matter in
 
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in a very Black Light to the Governor, & sundree Other People, my affidavit, with the rest of the officers affidavits which was with me on this Command, Colo. Butler Informs me, he will send inclose to you for your perusial.
I am with Esteem, Sir
Your Obedient Humble Servt.
Thomas Posey"

A different version of this letter was sent directly to General George Washington by Posey which I have transcribed from the original in the George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799: Series 4. General Correspondence. 1697-1799

"Thomas Posey, September 16, 1778, Affidavit on Scouting Expedition

To Gen. George Washington
In persuance of Orders Deliverd me by Lieut Col. William Butler I set out from Schohary 24th August early in the Morning reached Poughkataughten on the 26th of the Same Month, this Place being pointed out to me, to be chiefly Inhabited by Tories, and People who had actually been in Armes, against the Country. (I had been well informed these Settlements were Chiefly or all together Inhabited by Tories,) I made use of Precautions, with regard to the Command of Party (after being made acquainted with the People that Inhabited that Quarter) As being in an Enemies Country when I arrived. I made use of the Precautions [?] [?] in marching through an Enemies Country,The first houses my Scouts came to, they found to be evacuated, upon which they came to me, I immediately sent out another small party, in order to Reconitre, while I penetrated through the (country-this word is crossed out) Settlement. In some Short I came to a House, wherein I found some Women, I made a Halt, for some short time, and enquired of the Women, what had become of the People, they told me there had been a Scout, which had taken them, and what Stock they had, in the Settlement. I did not take up much time in Questioning the Women, but marched on, and within the distance of half a mile, in a piece of Woods, met two Men, one driving a Waggon and the other on Horseback, and leading another Horse, with a gun slung to his back. within the distance of a Half a mile in woods I met two men, one Driving a waggon the Other Riding one Horse & leading another, upon xamination the one Driving the waggon was Dumond.

I halted my Party, and upon Examination found the Man, with the Waggon, to be one Demon I asked him where he was driving his Waggon? He said he was moving his Goods into the Settlement, That a Scout had been from Esopus, which had taken all the Stock, and chief of the Inhabitants. I asked him, if there had been any Scouting Parties from Unandilla lately or whether Butler or Brandt, frequently sent Scouting parties into this Settlement? He said they had Sent Scouting Parties at different times! I asked him (the said Demon) whether he had assisted the Enemy? He answered he had assisted his King, in whatever he was able to do! he had given them Beef, Cattle and such things or assistance as he could from time to time!........................ After I had asked him such Questions as I thought proper, I ordered Captain Harper of the Militia, to set three of his Men as a guard Demon, and the Man, who was with him, whom I understand since, is one Burrows. Burrows was Examind at the same time by Capt Long of the Rifle Corps, and upon Examination was Found, to have assisted the Enemy in Cattle, he (the said Burrows) had gun with him which some of the Party had took from him, The Guard took them the said (Demon and Burrows) into their Custody and was ordered to take Particular care of them ................
I pursued with all Possible Expedition, down the Delaware hunting, as those men had Demonstrated themselves to be Enemies to the Country, by the Confession they had made, that they only Intended imposing on me, with regard to moving into Esopus, that perhaps it might be a Party of the Enemy, which had been there, when I got near the lower End of the settlement (which was about 6 miles) I was told that the guard which had the Prisoners, in Charge was come up without them upon which I ordered them to be brought to me, and asked them, where the Prisoners were, they told me they (the guards) had taken the Horses out of the Waggon, mounted the two Prisoners on a horse, and each of them the Guard-
ding on the other Horses, followed me, That after riding some Distance .........................................

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The two Prisoners rode of to try to make their Escape, upon which they (the Guards) Immediately Pursu'd, and finding they (the Prisoners, were likely to get off thro' the Woods one of the Guard fired upon them, and missed, they (the Prisoners) then dismounting one of them made his Escape, thro' the Woods, the other kept the Road, after Pursuing near a mile, the one who Continued the Road, was fired upon and Shot , who prov'd to be Demon they (the Guards) left him in a House, and made their Way as quick as possible to the Party ...............................................................................................................
After my Excursion down the Delaware, in which I gather'd what Stock I could, which amounted to few, being chiefly drove off by the other Party I return'd to the House, that I had convers'd with the Women, before mentioned, In which I found Demon, the Person who was Shot by the Guards, I asked him his reason for running from the Guard? His excuse was, that he thought we were some of Brandts, or Butlers Men! I asked him, how he could think so, when I upon meeting him, asked him if any of Butlers or Brandts, Parties, had been in this neighborhood, lately, upon which you replied! there had! And that you had assisted, Brandt and Butler in Beef I asked him if he could deny what he said to me, upon meeting me first? He said No! That he acknowledg'd, he said what I asserted, and said he really had assisted the King, after which I left him, and proceeded to Schohary.... Several of [words "several of" crossed out] The Soldiers might have taken several Things in the Settlement without my Knowledge, but I made them give them up, and return several things, which I discover'd them to take....

Thomas Posey Capt Command
Rifle Regiment
Personable approv'd before me a Justice of the Peace for the County of Albany in the State of New York, Thomas Posey, and Declar'd Purpose of the foregoing, to be fact, according to the best of his Knowledge...
Given under my Hand this 16th day of Sept in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven Hundred and seventy Eight
Jonas Vroman Justice
Albany County

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Being on command by order of Lieut Col. William Butler &
abt[?] order the Imediate Command of Major Posey Agust 26th, 1778 We went to Paughtaughen, Stopped at a house belonging to Simon Vanwaggoner which was the Second house we came to in the Settlement; I heard Capt. Harper ask a woman, which I understood was the Landlady of said house & the Said Capt. Harper asked her if She was as Great a tory as She formerly was. She answer'd She was not a tory, and if he did Not believe her he Might Enquire of Harmanus Demunge Who was a tory - we then persued our Rout about half a mile, where we Met Said Demunge with his Waggon & horses and another Man Riding one horse and Leading another loaded with goods Said Demunge being Stopped by the party Capt. Harper came forward to the waggon & asked sd Hermanus Demunge his Name who answered that his Name was Demunge, the Said Capt. Harper asked him if he was as good a man for the King as he used to be, he answered yes, what have you Done for the King or his party in this Country & how Many Cattle did you give Brants party; he answered I gave four head of Cattle & Supplyd them with all the provisions that lay in My power; Harper asked him again will you Supply them with any More, he answered he would but the Rebels had carried them all to Esopus Meaning his Chattles & Provisions as I understood him with My family -- Harper then asked the Man that was with Demunge how Many Cattle he had given to Brant he said one I believe Said Harper you are a churlish fellow; the answer Said Not hear but Harper Replied that he was a poor Man and had but one cow left --

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On our Return out of Said Settlement Major Posey Stopped his Command and ordered the Soldiers to be Searched & all the cloathing or other necessarys belonging to the Inhabitants to be Returned also My Self ordered the goods that the
Musquetree had to be collected when came to camp & Returned which was done and left at Major Churchs Marquee --

Alexr Ramsey Lt. [?]
Sworn before Me this 16th day of Sept. 1778
Jonas Vroman Justice in the (Copy) County of Albany in the State of New York --

affidavit
Lieut. Ramsey

Major Posey's deposition to Governor Clinton:
"Schohary, Middle Fort 23d Sept'r 1778.

May it please Your excellency,

I make free to trouble you with a few lines respecting a
command which I was ordered on by Colonel Butler to Paugha-
taughton, I Can ashure you, I really am unhappy to find you
have that matter Painted to you in so Black a Light as I under-
stand you have, for be ashurd, That on that Expedition, for which I am Culpable, I took as many precautions as Lay in my Power; you must be sensible in what manner a man is to act when Positively Told to be in an Enemies Country, as its Evident the moost of those Frontier settlements have actualy been in arms against us, or assisted the Enemy in Provitions, & I have had the fortune to se & Know a Good Deal about the disaffected People in this Countery in Genl. & I Can scarcely se any of them, be them the Greatest Villains, But what has some one to speak in there Behalf.

My affidavits, with those of the officers under me upon that Ex- pedition, Colo. Butler informs me he will send in closd to you for your Perusial. I am with Esteem Your Obed't Hum'le ser't

Thomas Posey.

P.S. I am informed there is a number of People throughout the
Frontier settlements, which Can Prove Dumond's Carrector to be Exceeding Bad. Youl se his own Confesion in the affidavits of the officers.

His Excellency Governor Clinton."

Published PUBLIC PAPERS OF GEORGE CLINTON, FIRST GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK, Albany, NY, 1900, vol. iv (pages 139-141 (item No.1831)

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