Hey polish

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Guest, Feb 23, 2003.

  1. Guest

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    the real fredneck
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    Posts: 88
    (7/1/01 10:30:28 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del All Hey polish
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    was watching the series Liberty on PBS this afternoon and had a question, after Saratoga when Burgoyne surrendered Gates handed him his sword back so what was the disposition of the POW's? were they interned? deported? re-educated? or shot while trying to escape? the series never mentioned POW's on either side

    Xracer
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    (7/2/01 8:10:43 am)
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    A number of British troops were imprisoned at Newgate Prison near Granby, Connecticut....don't know whether they were from Saratoga or not.

    It was a copper mine, and a real hell-hole. It's ruins are now a CT State Park, and well worth a visit if you're anywhere in the area.

    the real fredneck
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    (7/2/01 4:48:40 pm)
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    Xracer
    So those British POW's were used as forced labor in the mine?

    Xracer
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    Posts: 512
    (7/2/01 6:54:50 pm)
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    Geez, Fred......haven't been there in a looooong time, so my memory on it's history are a bit fuzzy.

    Old Newgate Prison consists of an underground copper mine, and several large fieldstone buildings (in ruins).

    I'm not sure if it was a working copper mine during the Revolution or not. I DO know that either then, or later, some prisoners were shackled to the walls and kept there. I suspect that most of the prisoners were kept in the main prison buildings, and that the "hard cases" or prisoners singled out for special punishment were kept down in the mine itself......believe me, not a place I'd like to be kept 24 hours a day.

    Nowadays, you can tour the mine.....there's a big enterance, and lights down there......but when I first saw it in about 1950, you had to climb down a 30-40 foot iron ladder thru a small hole in the ground and use flashlights. If you turned off your flashlight, it was totally dark......the air is cold and clammy, and the walls are dripping water. Not at all a pleasant place.

    Here's a little bit on it: www.eastgranby.com/Histor...rison2.htm

    and: albums.photo.epson.com/j/...&a=7578415

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
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    (7/2/01 10:45:29 pm)
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    The usual practice was to "parole" them. They signed an agreement not to ever fight again against us, and were released. It was understood if they were captured again they would be shot, don't know if any ever were.

    Sometimes exchanged for our prisoners, but it was not as common.

    Usually the British common soldiers would immediately be conscripted again or returned to their old units, but the officer's lots of times were transferred to other commands, like in India or the West Indies...after all, they gave their WORD!

    Lots of times returned soldiers would be sent to another theater, too, for example those caught at Saratoga, when returned, may have been sent the South later with Cornwallis.

    Some of course just deserted when released, and went to Canada.

    To tell the truth, I haven't studied much about the prisoners, this is all I have read...maybe someone else knows more...



    the real fredneck
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    (7/3/01 7:23:09 am)
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    Just wondering if the British received favorable terms of surrender like Grant did with Lee, where the officers were allowed to keep their sidearms and mounts, the regular enlisted being allowed to keep their rifles after taking the oath of loyalty

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1043
    (7/3/01 11:07:11 am)
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    Actually, I think the British and Hessian Regulars were treated rather well, American's respected them and the hardships they went through.

    The Tory Militiamen were another story...not much mercy was shown to Americans who chose to fight against other Americans.

    Not much shrift is given to the Tories in history as a whole, either...they just kind of "fade away" after the Revolution.

    Since only about 30% of the population SUPPORTED Independence, and 30% supported the King, there was an equal number at least to the numbers of Patriots we revere.

    (The rest, about 40% couldn't care less unless one side or the other did something to directly hurt them, and luckily for us, it was usually the arrogant British/Tories who PO'ed them first...)
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