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position for the academy could be obtained, suited to founderies of cannon and manufactories of small arms. The pupils could here acquire the knowledge of the arts, and the detachments of troops could be made useful in the prosecution of the works.
Barracks and other proper buildings must be erected for the accommodation of the directors, professors, and students, and for laboratories and other works to be carried on.
It is proposed by the foregoing plan, that the school of engineers and artillerists shall be united. The studies relative to these two branches of service run into each other so much, that they may with convenience be pursued in the same school.
Yet it is conceived, that the entire union of the officers of both in one corps, as in our present establishment, is not advisable. The art of fortification, and the service of artillery, though touching each other in many points, are, in the main, distinct branches, and each so comprehensive, that this separation is essential to perfection in either,
This has been ascertained by experience. It is understood that one or more governments of Europe, particularly attentive to the military art, have essayed the union of the two corps, induced to it by their mutual relations in certain respects, and by the desire of insuring harmony in the service, and that the result of the experiment has led to a renunciation of the plan, as being productive of more disadvantages than advantages.
Influenced, as well by this experience in other countries, as by my own observations and reflections, I beg leave to suggest for consideration a new arrangement on the subject, to be submitted, if approved, to the legislative body.
Let the corps of engineers and artillerists be placed under one head, that head to be a general officer ; but let the other officers be separated, and form a distinct corps. .
A regiment of engineer officers, and two of artillery officers, will form a due proportion in the scale of our military establishment. If deemed inexpedient to increase the total number of officers, the object may be effected by suppressing two of the battalions of the corps, as now organized, increasing the number of non-commissioned officers and privates in the remaining battalions, so as to continue the present total, and transferring the surplus officers, with due selection to the regiment of engineers, to be composed of two battalions.
Instead of the artificers at present forming a part of each company, let there be a corps of miners and artificers, consisting of four companies, one company of armorers and smiths, one of wheelwrights and carpenters, one of masons, and one of miners. This corps to be a portion of the corps of engineers and artillerists under the command of its chief. The officers to be taken from the regiment of engineers and artillerists at his discretion, continuing, nevertheless, to rank and rise in the corps from which they may be taken, but the President to be empowered, if he thinks proper, to appoint others to their places in the regiment from which they shall be detached. The union of these different corps under one chief, is intended to promote a spirit of harmony and co-operation, while the separation of the other officers is designed to favor a more profound and accurate knowledge of each branch.
It will no doubt be observed, that though provision should be made by the law for the proposed establishment in its full latitude, yet it may be left in the discretion of the President to appoint only so many of the professors as experience shall show to be necessary.
With great respect and esteem, &c.
HAMILTON TO WASHINGTON.
New-YORK, Nov. 28th, 1799. SIR:
Inclosed is a copy of a letter which I have written to the Secretary of War on the subject of a military academy.
Two reasons have prevented me from communicating it to you at an earlier day. My avocations rendered it impossible for me to complete the letter till very lately, and I had had opportunities of knowing your opinion on the subject generally.
Any alterations in the plan which you may do me the honor to suggest will receive the most careful attention. With the truest respect and attachment,
I have the honor to be, Sir,
A. HAMILTON. His ExcellENCY, THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF.
HAMILTON TO M'HENRY.
New-York, Nov. 30th, 1799. SIR:
The preparation of a good system for the tactics police of the different portions of our army is probably the most valuable service which it may be in my power to render the United States in my present station, and there are urgent reasons why this should be accomplished in the course of the present winter.
To do it at all would in every situation require the aid of others; since I do not pretend, myself, to understand in detail all the branches of service. To do it within the time proposed, or rather within any period not manifestly longer than it would be prudent to delay, must render a subdivision indispensable, were I competent to the whole.
I have accordingly thought of this distribution of the subject:-1. To occupy myself with the tactics of the infantry. 2. To confide to General Pinckney, with the aid of Brigadier-General Washington, Colonel Watts, and Lieutenant Walbach, or such of them as he may choose, the tactics of the cavalry. 3. To employ Majors Toussard and Hoops in framing regulations for the exercise and police of the artillery. And lastly, to charge the adjutant-general, aided by another officer, to be selected by him, with the regulations for the police of troops in camp, quarters and garrisons.
The labors of these different persons will afterwards undergo revision for adoption or correction, and then will be transmitted to you for your consideration, and the determination of the President.
But as this service will occasion constant and laborious occupation to the persons who will be employed, it is just and agreeable to usage to allow a special compensation. This, too, will be expected by them, and is essential to a cheerful and zealous execution of the duty. An allowance per diem not less than one dollar nor more than two will suffice. It may vary in reference to rank. It, of course, will not be expected to extend to General Pinckney, the adjutant-general, or myself.
I entreat a speedy decision and the communication of it.
HAMILTON TO M'HENRY.
PHILADELPHIA, December, 1799. SIR:
1 Pursuant to an instruction some time since received from you, I have now the honor to offer to your consideration a new plan for the uniform of the army.
You are too sensible of the influence of good appearance in point of dress and equipment upon the spirit and temper of an army, to make it necessary to illustrate its importance.
The present uniform is materially defective in this respect. The plan now offered has been digested with a careful eye to the advantages of good appearance, without departing improperly from considerations of simplicity and economy.
It is very desirable that there should be an early decision upon it, as a great number of officers suspend the procuring of new uniform in expectation of a change; and if obliged by delay to provide according to the present standard, would be exposed in case of alteration to an additional expense, which, to many of them, would be burthensome.
As to any article not provided for by law, an expectation may be signified that it will be provided at the expense of the troops themselves. It is believed that this idea will meet with no impediment.
I send you an estimate of clothing necessary for the future years' supply of the troops under my immediate command. If materials for coats, vests, and overalls could be soon put into the hands of the different corps, they might be made up during the winter-quarters, which would save expense to the public, and afford an opportunity of having the articles much better fitted to the wearers of them.
HAMILTON TO M°HENRY.
PHILADELPHIA, December, 1799. SIR:
I have heretofore submitted to you a scale for the allowance of servants to the different grades of officers, with some supplementary ideas. I beg leave to add another suggestion in relation to this subject.
The detaching from their corps soldiers as servants to the various officers of the general staff, is productive of material in. convenience, by withdrawing altogether from military service a considerable number of persons; and occasions dissatisfaction to the commandants of corps who never see their men removed without uneasiness, and are sometimes much disgusted by the selection of those whom they are anxious to retain. There is no doubt that it would operate beneficially, if, after fixing the number of servants to which the several characters of the general staff should be entitled, they were to be allowed an equivalent in money regulated by the cost of a soldier to the public, and were to be required to provide their own servants. Penalties may secure the faithful execution of this arrangement, which, from the force of circumstances, would be very liable to abuse.