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paymaster-general, and which were by me given to the commandants of regiments, were not fulfilled. Disappointment and dissatisfaction have, of course, ensued.
It is but candor for me to mention, that while Secretary of the Treasury, I had knowledge of the forms which had been prescribed; but I had entirely forgotten the circumstance. And it is self-evident that all regulations prescribed by the Department of War, for observance in an army, ought to be communicated from that department, either to the military commander or to the chief of the particular branch of service to which they relate--and that it is not incumbent upon the millitary commander to make inquiry of the Department of War for them; I therefore did what was natural in the case-I prescribed forms, where I did not know that any had been previously established by superior authority.
It is very probable that the necessity of transmitting these forms did not occur to the Secretary of War. Or he
Or he may have considered it as the province of the paymaster-general to do it; but this officer being with the western army, a very great delay could not fail to attend the transmission of them by him. The truth is, that a want of sufficient organization in this particular, as in others, occasioned an omission.
The only material remark in respect to it is—that the omission having happened, it was a decisive reason for not insisting upon the forms in question as a preliminary to payment.
Upon the whole, (since I have not understood that there was any deficiency of money,) I am led to conclude that unwillingness to incur extraordinary responsibility, by a deviation from general rules, has been a principal cause of the very inconvenient delay which has been experienced. The mode of proceeding has certainly not corresponded with my ideas of propriety and expediency; yet I do not presume to expect that my ideas should be a standard for the conduct of others. And I am certainly very far from imagining, that any motive more exceptionable than the one I have suggested, has had the least influence in the affair. The paymaster is, no doubt, shielded by his instrucI trust that things are now in a train for a more satisfactory course in future.
With perfect respect anu attachment, &c.
HAMILTON TO MỘHENRY.
New-York, November 23, 1799. SIR:
The near approach of a session of Congress will naturally lead you to the consideration of such measures for the improve. ment of our military system as may require legislative sanction.
Under this impression, I am induced now to present to you some objects which appear to me very interesting, and shall take the liberty to add hereafter such others as shall have occurred.
One which I have always thought of primary importance, is a military academy. This object has repeatedly engaged the favorable attention of the administration, and some steps towards it have been taken. But these, as yet, are very inadequate. A more perfect plan is in a high degree desirable.
No sentiment is more just than this, that in proportion as the circumstances and policy of a country forbid a large military establishment, it is important that as much perfection as possible should be given to that which may at any time exist. Since it is agreed, that we are not to keep on foot numerous forces instructed and disciplined, military science in its various branches ought to be cultivated with peculiar care, in proper nurseries, so that there may always exist a sufficient body of it ready to be imparted and diffused, and a competent number of persons qualified to act as instructors to the additional troops, which events may successively require to be raised.
This will be to substitute the elements of an army to the thing itself, and it will greatly tend to enable the government to dispense with a large body of standing forces from the facility which it will give of forming officers and soldiers promptly upon emergencies.
No sound mind can doubt the essentiality of military science in time of war, any more than the moral certainty that the most pacific policy on the part of a government will not preserve it from being engaged in war more or less frequently.
To avoid great evils, it must either have a respectable force prepared for service, or the means of preparing such a force with expedition. The latter, most agreeeable to the genius of our government and nation, is the object of a military academy.
I propose that this academy shall consist of five schools—one to be called "The Fundamental School," another, “The School of Engineers and Artillerists;" another, “The School of Cavalry;" another, “The School of Infantry ;' and a fifth, “The School of the Navy;" and of the following offices and per
A director-general, to superintend the whole institution.
To be thus distributed among the several schools.
One drawing master.
A professor of mathematics,
A drawing master.
A fencing master.
chanics, geography, topography and surveying, design
ing of structures and landscapes. The principles of tactics. In the School of Engineers and Artillerists to be taught: Fluxions, conic sections, hydraulics, hydrostatics and
tack and defence of places;
to aqueducts, canals and bridges;
the small and broad sword. In the School of Infantry:
The tactics and police of the infantry.
In the School of the Navy:
tides; Naval architecture. The director-general and the other directors to be officers of the army and navy, conforming to the nature of each school.
These schools to be provided with proper apparatus and instruments for philosophical and chemical experiments, for astronomical and nautical observations, and for surveying, and for such other processes as are requisite to the illustration of the several topics of instruction.
The cadets of the army, and young persons who are destined for military and naval service, ought to study for two years in the Fundamental School; and if destined for the corps of engineers and artillerists, or for the navy, two years more in the appropriate school; but persons who, by previous instruction elsewhere, may have been acquainted with some or all of the branches taught in the Fundamental School, may, after due ex. amination by the professors of that school, be either received there for a shorter term, or pass immediately to one of the other schools, according to the nature and extent of their acquisitions.
In addition to these, detachments of officers and non-commissioned officers of the army ought to attend the academy in rotation, for the purposes of instruction and exercise, according to the nature of the corps to which they respectively belong.
It would be a wise addition to the system, if the government would always have such a number of sergeants, in addition to those belonging to the regiments of the establishment, as would suffice with them for an army of 50,000 men.
The site of the academy ought to be upon a navigable water.
For this purpose, a piece of ground ought to be purchased by the government, of dimensions sufficient for experiments in gunnery, that is, not less than twelve hundred yards in length, and four hundred yards in breadth. The situation upon a navigable water is requisite to admit of exemplifications of naval construction and exercises.
It would also tend greatly to the perfection of the plan if a