Front Page Titles (by Subject) hamilton to mchenry - The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 7
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
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.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
hamilton to mchenry
October 12, 1799.
Sir:—It is now time to contemplate the distribution of the troops of the United States into divisions and brigades. The arrangement which appears to me expedient for the present is this: “That the four old regiments shall form one division and two brigades; the twelve new ones, two divisions and four brigades.”
The very great sphere of action to which the former are destined, including important and complicated objects appears to me to render it expedient that not more than two regiments shall constitute a brigade. But the latter, till there should be actual service, when the system supposes that the number of each regiment would be increased, may, for the mere purposes of discipline, be conveniently formed three to a brigade. The disposition for winter quarters accords with this idea.
Correspondent officers should be appointed, who are principally generals, quartermasters, and inspectors.
The latter are of the competency of the inspector-general, who will proceed without delay to make the appointments.
If the non-appointment of the quartermaster-general, provided for by the Act of the 3d of March last for the better organizing of the army, or the absence of the former quartermaster-general, be an impediment to the regular course of constituting a deputy quartermaster-general to each military district, and division and brigade quartermasters, a substitute must be adopted.
Usage, founded on necessity in similar cases, would authorize each commanding general to designate persons provisorily to perform the duties. But he cannot annex the extra compensation, and without this, or the expectation of it, the business would labor.
I request your interposition. I deem essential the immediate appointment within my command of a deputy quartermaster-general, and one division and two brigade quartermasters; and I will observe incidentally, that the same thing must be requisite within the command of General Pinckney.
As to generals, the President must decide. With the Western army there is no major-general and one brigadier. Two brigadiers were appointed for the additional army, but no more than one is understood to have accepted. I am anxious that the deficiency should be supplied. The discipline of the troops ought to be accelerated. It must suffer more or less as often as one organ is transferred from its proper situation to another. I entreat a prompt decision on the subject of quartermaster.