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
May 27, 1799.
Sir:—The returns from every quarter show that desertion prevails to a ruinous extent. For this the natural remedies are: 1st, greater attention to discipline; 2d, additional care in furnishing the supplies due to the soldiery, of such quality and with such exactness as will leave no real cause for dissatisfaction; 3d, the forbearance to enlist foreigners; and lastly, energy in the punishment of offenders.
To promote the first, will be my peculiar care. The second, I doubt not, will have from you all the attention due to a matter of primary importance. The third I hope soon to receive your instruction to put in execution. As to the fourth, I must entreat that you will make such a representation to the President as will convince him of the absolute necessity, where his agency must intervene, of giving effect to the sentences of the courts. His determination upon one some time since reported to you has not yet been received, and I expect it with great solicitude; there cannot occur a more fit case for exemplary punishment. If this culprit escapes, the example of his impunity will have a most malignant aspect towards the service. I repeat it, sir, this is a point of such essential consequence, that you cannot bestow too much pains to satisfy the President that severity is indispensable. It is painful to urge a position of this kind, especially wherelife is concerned; but a military institution must be worse than useless—it must be pernicious,—if a just severity does not uphold and enforce discipline.