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The Daring Raid to Kidnap a British General in Order to Gain Freedom for the Highest Ranking Continental Officer Captured During the American RevolutionOn the night of December 12, 1776, while on a reconnaissance mission in New Jersey, Lieutenant Colonel William Harcourt and Cornet Banastre Tarleton of the British dragoons learned from Loyalist informers that Major General Charles Lee, the second-in-command in the Continental army behind only George Washington, was staying at a tavern at nearby Basking Ridge. Harcourt and Tarleton, surrounded the tavern, and after a short but violent struggle, captured him. Stung by Lee's kidnapping, the Americans decided to respond with their own special operation. On July 10, 1777, Lieutenant Colonel William Barton led a handpicked party to a farmhouse in Newport, Rhode Island, where British General Richard Prescott had taken to spending nights. Surrounding the house, they seized the sleeping Prescott. Not only had Barton kidnapped an officer who could be exchanged for Lee, he had removed from action a man who had gained a reputation for his harsh treatment of American Patriots. In Kidnapping the Enemy: The Special Operations to Capture Generals Charles Lee and Richard Prescott, Christian M. McBurney relates the full story of each of these remarkable raids, the subsequent exchange of the two generals, and the impact of these kidnappings on the Revolutionary War. He then follows the subsequent careers of the major players, including Lee, Barton, Prescott, and Tarleton. The author completes his narrative with descriptions of other attempts to kidnap high-ranking military officers and government officials during the war, including ones organized by and against George Washington. The low success rate of these operations makes the raids that captured Lee and Prescott even more impressive.