Front Page Titles (by Subject) hamilton to mchenry - The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 7
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hamilton to mchenry - 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 mchenry
January 16, 1799.
You will receive herewith the draft of a bill for a provisional army. It includes only those things of a former bill which are appropriated to this object; the other parts of that bill being now in full force. The operation of the bill, which has been already sent you, renders the repetition of several clauses in the present unnecessary. The aim, indeed, ought to be to have a fundamental arrangement which will attach of course upon all subsequent provisions of force, so that the law for every augmentation need only define the number to be raised, and the duration of service, and the mode of raising.
An eye has been had to this in the draft of the first bill, and one of the two additional clauses now sent for the same bill has the same view. This will be more deliberately and correctly attended to in the plan of a bill which I shall being to work upon from this time, but which cannot be ready for a considerable time. A bill for the hospital establishment will follow in two or three days.
Yours truly, etc.
P. S.—The considerable mutilation of the nominations proposed by the Commander-in-Chief, as it appears in the result, naturally excites curiosity. It ought to be presumed, and yet the mind naturally distrusts the presumption, that there are good reasons for it, and that the service will be finally benefited. But I confess it would be a relief to me to know a little in detail, what has influenced the departure, how the unfitness of those who have been declined has appeared, and what means are in train to do any better. Pray be particular and confidential. You will not consider any letter of mine beginning “Dear Sir,” as official.
Measures in the War Department which it may be expedient to adopt.
To organize anew the militia, on a plan something like the following, viz.:
To be divided into five classes.
First class, consisting of all unmarried men from 18 to 25, except apprentices under 21 to merchants, mechanics, and manufacturers, and students under the same age in universities, colleges, and academies, and of divinity, law, and medicine.
Second class, consisting of all unmarried men from 25 to 40.
Third class, consisting of all married men from 18 to 25, except as excepted in the first class.
Fourth class, consisting of all married men from 25 to 40.
Fifth class, consisting of all men above 40, and not exceeding 50.
Each class to be formed into corps of infantry, artillery, and cavalry, combined into legions to consist of four regiments of infantry, one regiment of horse, and a battalion of artillery. All who choose to enter into the cavalry and provide themselves with horses, arms, and accoutrements, to be at liberty to do it. Each class to be called out in succession as numbered; in whole or in part, liable to serve for a year. None of a higher number to be called out until all of any preceding lower number have been called out and served their tour.
In case of domestic insurrection, no man able to serve shall be excused on any condition.
In case of foreign war, any man may be excused, paying 50/100 dollars.
No militia (except those inhabiting frontier counties) shall be obliged to serve against Indians, nor those inhabiting frontier counties for more than one year.
Any man who shall refuse to serve his tour when required, to be imprisoned during the term of service, or compelled to labor at some public work at the option of the government.
Cases of exempts to be defined in the laws.
The respective classes to be liable to be called out for inspection and exercise as follows:
This legion to be raised by voluntary enlistment, according to a certain distribution, in the following parts of the United States: in the part of Pennsylvania and Virginia lying west of the Allegheny, the Northwestern and Southwestern Governments, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Georgia.
The consideration of enlistment to be a suit of clothes of the value of ten dollars per annum, and when in the field the same pay and allowance as other troops of the United States.
To be engaged for a term of—years, but except in case of domestic insurrection or foreign invasion, not to be obliged to serve in the field more than—months in one year. One brigade to be raised in the western part of Pennsylvania and Virginia, the Northwestern Territory, and the State of Kentucky. The Brigadier to be immediately charged with all the military affairs of the United States in that scene. The other brigade to be raised in the other part of the country above described, with the same immediate charge to its Brigadier of the military affairs of the United States in that scene.
The major-General to have the general direction.
The organization of the army to be revised; it is presumed to be susceptible of one more perfect.