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After Andre's execution General Washington formed a plan to seize Arnold and bring him to the Jersey shore, first to punish him, second to exonerate from suspicions of treachery another of his Generals, St. Clair. Major Lee persuaded Sergeant Major John, Champe of Loudon, Virginia, to attempt to carry out the plan. He was to desert to the British, join Arnold's American Legion and if possible bring Arnold within reach of American troops. About 11 o'clock on the night of October 20th, 1780, he started upon his perilous adventure ; within half an hour his absence was discovered and reported to Major Lee who delayed the pursuit as long as he possibly could, but a little after twelve, troops started after the supposed deserter. At Union Hill Champe was only a short half mile ahead. Knowing that his flight to Paulus Hook would be intercepted, he started for the British, patrol boats lying in Newark Bay near Brown's Ferry (near the Newark plank road). His pursuers were within two or three hundred yards of him, when he dismounted and running across the meadows plunged into the Bay and swam for the boats, calling for help. The British sent a boat for him and fired upon his pursuers. He soon established the innocence of the other Generals and sent word to Lee to meet him at Hoboken upon a certain night when he would deliver Arnold. But his plan miscarried owing to the fact that Arnold moved his headquarters to another part of the city. For a long time Champe endured many hardships, and was unable to escape and return to his comrades until serving under Lord Cornwallis at Petersburgh, Virginia.

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