On September 17, 1814 a letter from 29 American prisoners held on board His Britannic Majesty’s frigate Havanna was forwarded to Major General Samuel Smith in hopes of being assisted in their present situation. The letter has been modified for clarity.
On Board H.B.M. frigate Havanna September 17, 1814.
We had the misfortune to be captured in the affair of Monday last at Bear Creek and were on Tuesday brought on board this ship where we are detained as prisoners of War. Having had the honor of some communication with the commanding officers are of opinion an exchange may be obtained for us provided immediate application is made for that purpose which we have no doubt will be promptly attended to on the part of our countrymen so soon as they shall learn that we are in captivity & distressed (not one of us having a change of rainment, a blanket or cent of money – some have no coat others no vests or shoes). Should not an immediate arrangement be made for our benefit, we expect to be sent to England, in which case a majority of us would inevitably fall a sacrifice for want of necessary comforts.
We pray an immediate attention may be paid to our situation by a flag of truce which would be expected on our part. An should an exchange unfortunately not be effected, that we may be permitted to receive a supply of clothing, bedding & stores from our families – or from the [Baltimore] Committee of Supplies. Several of us being already very unwill we fear confinement by fever which will be certain death on our situation.
In full hope of speedy deliverance we are with due respect, Etc.
Independent Company 5th Regiment M.M. Thomas Bailey, Talbot Jones, Edward Murray, Frederick Seyler, William Jenkins.
Independent Blues: F.M. Willis, George Heidelback, William Lively, Richard Lawson, John Huzza.
[First Baltimore] Sharp Shooters, 1st Rifle Battn. – Thomas G. Prettyman, John Howard.
Patriot Company, 5th Regiment – Benjamin Meredith.
United Volunteers, 5th Regiment – Henry W. Gray, John G. Poug.
Union Volunteers – George Collins (wounded).
Light Blue, 5th Regiment – Henry Suter.
Mechanical Comapny, 5th Regiment – John Redgrove.
Capt. Deem’s Co., 51st Regiment – Andrew Miller.
Capt. Rogers Co., 51st Regiment – John Kepler.
Capt. Peters Co., 51st Regiment – Morgan Carson.
Capt. Smiths Co., 51st Regiment – Adam Miller.
Capt. Kennedy’s Co., 27th Regiment – Andrew Cole
Capt. Edes Co., 27th Regiment – Peter Stedham.
Capt. Dillon’s Co., 27th Regiment – Patrick B. Powell.
Capt. Kennedy’s Co., 27th Regiment – John Fordyce (Vol. from Philadelphia)
39th Regiment – William Baltzell.
Capt. Dobbin’s Co., 39th Regiment – Lewis Baltzell.
Capt. Schwartzour’s Co., 27th Regiment – Ephraim Nash.
Source: Samuel Smith Papers, Reel 2, Cont. 2-3, Library of Congress.