John Champe, an American soldier, born in Loudon co., Va., in 1752, died in Kentucky near the close of the 18th century. He was selected from Gen. Lee's regiment, by request of Washington, to go to New York as a deserter and spy, and if possible to seize and bring off Arnold in time to save the life of Andr6. Champe undertook the enterprise, passed the American lines with difficulty, was hotly pursued by his comrades as a deserter, reached New York, underwent an examination before Sir Henry Clinton, and by him was consigned to Arnold, who gave him in the British army his former rank of sergeant major. He discovered Arnold's habit of walking in his garden at a late hour every night, and formed a plan with a comrade to seize and gag him there, and to take him between them as a drunken companion to a boat on the Hudson, whence arrangements were made for his speedy transportation to the American headquarters. On the appointed night Arnold failed to appear in the garden, and Champe, after waiting for him till near morning, returned with chagrin to his position in the British army.
It proved that Arnold had the day before changed his quarters, preparatory to the embarkation of his troops for Virginia. Champe embraced the first opportunity to escape to the American army, and joined the troops under Gen. Greene. Gen. Washington discharged him from further service, lest, falling into the hands of the enemy, he should be hanged. When subsequently Washington sought for him to reward him for his faithful and dangerous service, he learned of his recent death in Kentucky.