Kidnapping the Enemy: A Lecture with Author Christian McBurney

    Improve listing Presented by

On December 13, 1776 at an isolated New Jersey tavern, George Washington’s second in command Major General Charles Lee was captured by a party of British dragoons. The American army needed a British captive who was the same rank as General Lee.

Rhode Island’s William Barton planned and executed the cross-bay capture of Major General Richard Prescott at the Overing house in Middletown, where Prescott commanded the British garrison occupying Newport and the rest of Aquidneck Island. Barton’s raid was the outstanding special operation of the Revolutionary War and still ranks as one of the greatest in American military history. But did the pride he earned from this mission ruin thirteen years of his life? Hear Christian McBurney answer this question and discuss his new book, Kidnapping the Enemy: The Special Operations to Capture Generals Charles Lee and Richard Prescott.

A graduate of Brown University, McBurney is a partner in a Washington, DC law firm. He is the author of several books and articles on early Rhode Island history, including The Rhode Island Campaign: The First French and American Operation of the Revolutionary War, A History of Kingston, Rhode Island, 1700–1900 and British Treatment of Prisoners During the Occupation of Newport, 1776–1779.