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to washington - Alexander Hamilton, The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 10 
The Works of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Henry Cabot Lodge (Federal Edition) (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). In 12 vols. Vol. 10.
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Aug. 20, 1798.
My Dear Sir:
A necessary absence from this city prevented the receipt of your letter of the 9th instant till yesterday.
It is very grateful to me to discover in each succeeding occurrence a new mark of your friendship towards me. Time will evince that it makes the impression that it ought on my mind.
The effect which the course of the late military appointments has produced on General Knox, though not very unexpected, is very painful to me. I have a respectful sense of his pretensions as an officer, and I have a warm personal regard for him. My embarrassment is not inconsiderable between these sentiments, and what I owe to a reasonable conduct on my own part, both in respect to myself and to the public. It is a fact, that a number of the most influential men in our affairs would think that in waiving the preference given to me I acted a weak part, in a personal view, and an unwarrantable one, in a public view; and General Knox is much mistaken if he does not believe that this sentiment would emphatically prevail in that region to which he supposes his character most interesting. I mean New England.
Yet, my dear sir, I can never consent to see you seriously compromitted or embarrassed. I shall cheerfully place myself in your disposal, and facilitate any arrangement you may think for the general good. It does not, however, seem necessary to precipitate any thing. It may be well to see first what part Gen. Pinckney will act when he arrives.
The Secretary at War has sent me a copy of General Knox’s letter to him on the subject of his appointment. It does not absolutely decline, but implies the intention to do it, unless a rule of the late army, giving, in cases of promotion on the same day, priority according to the former relative rank, is understood to govern. I have addressed a reply of which a copy is enclosed.
The commissions have issued, so that no alteration can now be made as between Generals Knox and Pinckney, if there were not the serious difficulties in the way which you seem to have anticipated.
The Secretary at War has proposed to the President a change of the plan announced in the first instance—which may bring into immediate activity the Inspector-General and Gen. Knox. In this case you may depend on the best efforts in my power, with a peculiar attention to the objects you mention, and you shall be carefully and fully advised of whatever it interests you to know.
Col. Walker resides at present in the western part of this State. He is occupied in some important agencies for persons abroad, which renders it doubtful whether he would now accept military employment. He has been written to, and will be proposed for the command of a regiment.
Heth is, in many respects, very desirable, in the capacity you mention. But you are, I presume, aware of the impracticability of his temper.
The papers sent by you are now returned.