After the Battle of Germantown in 1777, an American soldier approached the British line carrying a white flag, a fox terrier, and a note:
General Washington’s compliments to General Howe, does himself the pleasure to return him a Dog, which accidentally fell into his hands, and by the inscription on the collar, appears to belong to General Howe.
An officer conveyed the dog to British general Sir William Howe:
The General seemed most pleased at the return of the dog. He took him upon his lap, seemingly uncaring that the mud from the dog’s feet soiled his tunic. Whilst he stroked the dog, he discovered a tightly folded message that had been secreted under the dog’s wide collar. The General read the message, which seemed to have a good effect upon him. Although I know not what it said, it is likely to have been penned by the commander of the rebellion.
There’s no record of what this second note said, but Sir William later referred to the incident as “an honorable act of a gentleman.”
(Caroline Tiger, General Howe’s Dog, 2005.)