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hamilton to gunn - Alexander Hamilton, The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 7 
The Works of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Henry Cabot Lodge (Federal Edition) (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). In 12 vols. Vol. 7.
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hamilton to gunn
December 22, 1798.
My Dear Sir:
The post of yesterday brought me your favor of the 19th inst. The sentiments in it personal to me are extremely gratifying, and I am very glad to ascertain the military ground upon which you are not unwilling to stand. If things progress, I trust there will be no obstacle to your occupying it.
As to the further military arrangements, my ideas are these: Considering how little has been done toward raising the force already voted, that an important tax is yet in the first stage of an essay, that a prospect of peace is again presented by the temporizing conduct of France, that serious discontents exist in parts of the country with regard to particular laws, it appears to me advisable to postpone any actual augmentation of the army beyond the provisions of the existing laws, except as to the regiment of cavalry, which I should be glad to see increased by the addition of two troops, and by the allowing it to be recruited to the complement which has been proposed by the Commander-in-Chief, as that of the war establishment. What this is will probably be communicated by the Secretary at War.
But a considerable addition ought certainly to be made to our military supplies. The communications of the Commander-in-Chief will also afford a standard for the increase in this respect, as far as concerns the force to be employed in the field. There are, however, some other objects of supply equally essential, which were not within the view of those communications—heavy cannon for our fortifications, and mortars for the case of a siege. Of the former, including those already procured and procuring, there ought not to be fewer than one thousand, from eighteen to thirty-two pounders, chiefly to twenty-fours; of the latter, including those on hand, there ought to be fifty of ten-inch calibre. This, you perceive, looks to offensive operations. If we are to engage in war, our game will be to attack where we can. France is not to be considered as separated from her ally. Tempting objects will be within our grasp.
Will it not likewise be proper to renew and extend the idea of a provisional army? The force which has been contemplated as sufficient in any event, is 40,000 infantry of the line, 2,000 riflemen, 4,000 cavalry, and 4,000 artillery, making in the whole an army of 50,000. Why should not the provisional army go to the extent of the difference between that number and the actual army? I think this ought to be the case, and that the President ought to be authorized immediately to nominate the officers, to remain without pay until called into service. The arrangements can then be made with sufficient leisure for the best possible selection, and the persons designated will be employed in acquiring instruction.
It will likewise deserve consideration, whether provision ought not to be made for classing all persons from eighteen to forty-five inclusively, and for draughting out of them, in case of invasion, by lot, the number necessary to complete the entire army of fifty thousand. In the case of invasion, the expedient of draughting must be resorted to, and it will greatly expedite it if there be a previous classing with a view to such an event. The measure, too, will place the country in a very imposing attitude, and will add to the motives of caution on the part of our enemies.
These measures are all that appear to be advisable with regard to our military establishment under present appearances. A loan as an auxiliary will of course be annexed.