Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO ALEXANDER HAMILTON, MAJOR GENERAL. [PRIVATE.] - The Writings of George Washington, vol. XIV (1798-1799)
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TO ALEXANDER HAMILTON, MAJOR GENERAL. [PRIVATE.] - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. XIV (1798-1799) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. XIV (1798-1799).
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TO ALEXANDER HAMILTON, MAJOR GENERAL.
Mount Vernon, 25 February, 1799.
My dear Sir,
Your private letter of the 16th instant came duly to hand, and safe; and I wish you at all times and upon all occasions, to communicate interesting occurrences with your opinions thereon, (in the manner you have designated,) with the utmost unreservedness to me.
If the augmented force was not intended as an in terrorem measure, the delay in Recruiting it is unaccountable, and baffles all conjecture on reasonable grounds. The zeal and enthusiasm, which were excited by the Publication of the Despatches from our Commissioners at Paris, (which gave birth to the Law authorizing the raising of twelve Regiments, etc.,) are evaporated. It is now no more. And if this dull season, when men are idle from want of employment, and from that cause might be induced to enlist, is suffered to pass away also, we shall by and by, when the business of agriculture and other avocations call for the labor of them, set out as a forlorn hope to execute this business.1
Had the formation of the army followed closely the passage of this act, and Recruiting Orders had tread on the heels of that, the men who might have been raised at that time would for their numbers have been equal to any in the world; inasmuch as the most reputable yeomanry of the Country were ready to have stepped forward with alacity. Now, the measure is not only viewed with indifference, but deemed unnecessary by that class of People, whose attentions being turned to other matters, the officers who in August and September could, with ease, have Enlisted whole Companies of them, will find it difficult to Recruit any; and if this idle and frolicksome season is spent in inactivity, none but the riff-raff of the Country, and the scape-gallowses of the large cities will be to be had.
Far removed from the Scene, I might ascribe these delays to wrong causes, and therefore will hazard no opinion respecting them; but I have no hesitation in pronouncing, that, unless a material change takes place, our Military theatre affords but a gloomy prospect to those, who are to perform the principal parts in the Drama. Sincerely and affectionately I am yours, &c.
[1 ]From a Letter of General Hamilton, dated February 15th.—“The Secretary of War has communicated to me the following disposition with regard to the superintendence of our military forces and posts. All those in the States south of Maryland, in Tennessee and Kentucky, are placed under the direction of Major-General Pinckney; those everywhere else under my direction, to which he has added the general care of the recruiting service.