To James McHenry
NY. Nor. 25th. 99
From information which I have occasionally received it would appear that abuses are, from time to time, committed by particular officers, involving the irregular expenditure of money,1 that can appear only at the office of the Accountant of the War department. The thing seems to me to be sufficiently important to engage your attention, and I should suppose it would be proper to di[r]ect the Accountt to report to you from time to time all abuses that occur in order that they may be laid before the Military Commanders.
It will then be the duty of these officers to take measures for correcting the abuses and punishing their Authers.
S of War
Df, in the handwriting of Thomas Y. How, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Two instances illustrate H’s statement concerning irregular expenditures. William C. Bentley had had the hats of his men bound to make them fit better. See McHenry to H, September 10, 1799; H to McHenry, September 13, 1799; H to Bentley, September 13, 1799; Bentley to H, September 27, 1799 (all listed in the appendix to Volume XXIII). Lieutenant Trueman Mosley, paymaster of the Thirteenth Regiment of Infantry, had used money for purposes other than pay. See H to Timothy Taylor, September 27, 1799 (listed in the appendix to Volume XXIII).