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HAMILTON TO GOVERNOR JAY.
New-York, October 29, 1798. SIR:
I received this day a letter from the President of the United States, requesting me to concert with you the plan and to superintend the execution of it, for giving effect to the act of the legis. lature of this State, and for other purposes. This I am accordingly ready to do whenever you shall be pleased to require it.
HAMILTON TO WASHINGTON.
New-YORK, October 29, 1798. DEAR SIR:
Some ill health in my family, now at an end, as I hope, interfered with an earlier acknowledgment of your favor of the 21st instant. The contents cannot but be gratifying to me. It is my intention, if not prevented by further ill health in my family, to proceeed on the first of November, to Trenton. My aid to the Secretary to the full extent of what he shall permit me to afford, will not be withheld. But every day brings fresh room to apprehend that, whatever may be the props, the administration of the War Department cannot prosper in the present very well disposed but very unqualified hands.
Most respectfully and affectionately,
A. H. G. WASHINGTON.
WASHINGTON TO HAMILTON,
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 12th, 1798. SIR:
Herewith you will be furnished with a copy of a letter from the Secretary of War to me, suggesting many very important matters for consideration and to be reported on.
It is my desire that you will bestow serious and close attention on them, and be prepared to offer your opinion on each head, when called upon.
I also propose, for your consideration and opinion, a number of queries which had been noted by me, previous to the receipt of the Secretary's letter (now inclosed). In stating these, I had endeavored to avoid, and make them additional to, the objects which the Secretary of War, in a letter to me, dated the 16th ultimo, informed me would be subjects for my consideration. I find, however, that several of them, in substance, are contained in his last letter ; but as they were digested previous thereto, and written, I shall, to save copying, lay them before you as they are, without expunging those parts which now appear the Secretary's statement. With very great esteem and regard,
I am, Sir,
M'HENRY TO WASHINGTON.
Questions submitted to the Commander-in-Chief.
November 10, 1798. SIR:
It appears by a letter from the President, dated Quincy, October 22d, 1798, that it will not be in his power to be in Philadelphia till near the time fixed upon for the meeting of Congress. In order, however, to prevent any injury to the public service, as it respects officering the troops directed to be raised by the late acts of Congress, he has written to me as follows: “If you and the generals judge it necessary to appoint the officers of battalions before we can have opportunity to nominate them to the Senate, you may fill up the commissions with the blanks you have, or, if you have not enough, send new ones by post."
I have thought it proper, in pursuance of this authority, to submit to you a list of all those persons, who have been recommended for commissions in the army, with their letters of pre tensions, and also a list of all the officers of the revolutionary army; and to request that you will, with the aid of Generals Hamilton and Pinckney, prepare from these, and any other sources of information, a list of the most deserving and suitable characters, in your estimation, to fill the different grades to which the authority cited applies.
I have also, in conformity with my letter to you, dated the 16th of August ultimo, to request that you would submit to Generals Hamilton and Pinckney (General Knox having declined his appointment) the following questions, and that you would be pleased to take the same into mature consideration, and report to me the result of your deliberations.
1. Will it be expedient and proper to select the officers and raise the men for the twelve regiments of infantry and six companies of cavalry from the following districts, and in the following proportions, or as nearly so as circumstances will admit? First; the officers and men for four regiments of infantry from within the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Secondly; the officers and men for four regiments of infantry from within the States of New-York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. Thirdly; the officers and men for four regiments of infantry from within the States of Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia. Fourthly; the whole or a principal part of the officers and men of the six companies of cavalry from within the district where it is most likely they will have to serve.
2. If these questions are determined in the affirmative, then whether, in making the selection of officers, the least exceptionable rule for determining the numbers to be taken from each State within the respective divisions aforesaid will not be by their relative number of inhabitants according to the census, whenever the application of this rule will not introduce the least worthy, to the exclusion of more meritorious characters.
According to this rule, the following table will exhibit pretty nearly the proportion of officers and men to be drawn from the respective States for the twelve regiments of infantry.
3. Whether, in the present state of things, it is expedient and proper to proceed immediately to the appointment of the officers, or to suspend their appointment until the meeting of Congress.
4. Whether, in the present state of our foreign relations, it is expedient and proper to proceed, immediately after the appointment of the officers, to recruit the whole of the twelve regiments of infantry, and six companies of cavalry. If inexpedient to recruit the whole, then what part thereof will it be proper to recruit, and in which district or districts of the Union ?
5. Whether, if determined that a part only ought to be forthwith recruited, it will be expedient, notwithstanding, to appoint the whole of the officers; and whether it ought to be signified to them, that they are not to be entitled to pay, &c.
, previous to being called into actual service.
6. Will it be expedient and proper to withdraw any of the troops stationed upon the northwestern and southern frontiers, namely, on the Lakes, between the Lakes and the rivers Ohio and Mississippi, and on the Tennessee and Georgia frontier bounding on the Indians and the river St. Mary's, with a view to reinforce the troops on the seaboard frontier?
7. The stations of the before mentioned troops and their numbers will be seen by the annexed return and letters from Brigadier General Wilkinson. If inexpedient that any of these should be withdrawn, will it be proper to reinforce them with the two companies, directed by a late act of Congress to be added to each of the old regiments of infantry?
8. What distribution, under the present aspect of affairs, ought to be made of the troops and recruits now on our seaboard frontier, the description, places of rendezvous, stations, and numbers of which are exhibited in the annexed return?
9. What number of the troops to be raised ought to be stationed in the respective divisions aforesaid, and in what places ?
10. Will it be best for the service and discipline, that the recruits should be supplied by contracts at the enlisting rendezvous, as now practised; or to allow to each recruit a fixed sum per diem in lieu of his ration, previous to his joining the general rendezvous or encampment within his division ?
11. Ought the army when in the field to be supplied with rations by means of purchasing and issuing commissaries, or by contract, as at present?
12. What quantity and kinds of cannon, field-artillery, military stores, and other articles necessary to an operating army, such as may be raised, will it be proper to procure, in addition to what is exhibited as on hand, agreeably to the annexed return by the superintendent of military stores, and that may be expected to be procured in consequence of the annexed letter from the Secretary of the Treasury?