Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to James McHenry, 9 March 1800

To James McHenry

[New York] March 9. 1800

Dr Sir

Herewith you have the draft of a Bill respecting the Corps & Engineers & Artillerists. I vary in mode but not in substance from your report1 by defining the Regiment of Artillerists at its Complement (say four batalions &c.) and I suspend the organizing & raising of one batalion. This comes to the same result & appears to me most correct & systematic. I leave a blank for the privates, supposing there may be a mistake in printing as I cannot make out the principle of 780 privates to three batalions 65 (an odd number) to a company. Perhaps the actual establishment is a preferable standard say 48 per company excluding Artificers which for a full Regiment will amount to 768.

I cannot endure your two Lt Colonels to a Regiment of Engineers. Tis “Monstrum horrendum informe &c”

Yrs. truly

A Hamilton

I am preparing a third Bill.2

ALS, Columbia University Libraries; ALS (photostat), James McHenry Papers, Library of Congress.

1McHenry’s report to John Adams was made on January 5, 1800. See McHenry to H, February 18, 1800, note 4. For H’s earlier proposals concerning a military academy, see H to McHenry, November 23, 1799.

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