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
Sir:—Inclosed are the proceedings of a general court-martial, of which Major Wilcocks is president. All the sentences, except that of Richard Hunt, have been approved and directed to be executed. The corporal punishment in the case of Goldsberg is remitted, agreeably to the recommendation of the court. You will observe that the pay due to each of the offenders is forfeited.
As I do not conceive the United States to be now at war, in the legal import of that term (which I construe to be a state not of partial but of general hostility), I considered it as beyond my power to approve or execute such sentences as by the articles of war are referred to the President in time of peace. But while I think it my duty on this ground to transmit the sentence without acting upon it, I feel myself called upon by a profound conviction of the necessity of some severe examples to check a spirit of desertion which, for want of them in time past, has become too prevalent, and to respectfully declare my opinion that the confirmation and execution of the sentence are of material consequence to the prosperous course of the military service. The crime of desertion is in this instance aggravated by the condition of the offender, who is a sergeant, and by the breach of trust, in purloining the money which was in his hands for the pay of his company.