Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, 17 July 1800

From Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

Shepherds Town [Virginia] July 17th: 1800

Dear Sir

By the Newspapers which arrived the last post, we are informed of your return to New York.1 I have therefore requested Lieutt: Walbach2 to take charge of such part of the Cavalry regulations3 as we had compiled, and to carry them to you, agreably to your desire,4 at New York. He will set out in about a week. The only part finished is what relates to the training the horses,5 and to Military Equitation;6 but these will require to be revised and corrected, and some parts of them perhaps, to be new cast. The former was principally taken from the great work of Drummond Count Melfort,7 from La Gueriniere’s “Manuel de Cavalerie,”8 and from Lord Pembroke9 and Coll: Tindale.10 The latter principally from the French “ordonnance concernant l’exercise et les maneuvres des Troupes à cheval,”11 adopting also every thing good on this subject in Drummond, Tyndale, Nevile,12 La Gueriniere, and the English Sword Exercise.13 In this the principle of the Movement of threes is introduced, and chiefly compiled by ourselves,14 as the printed books are not sufficiently full on this subject. With regard to the Maneuvres and evolutions, we have caused some to be copied, from Nevile, and the British regulations15 and elucidations,16 and also from Warnery,17 an excellent Prussian Horse Officer. But we wished first to have seen your Maneuvres and evolutions,18 as we are of opinion they ought to be as near those of the Infantry, as the necessary differences of the Services will admit. These copies which we send are by no means sufficient, there are many other evolutions, which ought to be introduced and some should be taken from the French ordonnance. We had likewise begun with the Police and discipline of the cavalry,19 chiefly taken from the French and German, when the British rules and regulations20 on the same subject were sent us, but we were disbanded21 before it was in our power to compare them. I have not had time to read over the papers sent you, so that it is probable they may be very incorrect.

I have this moment received a letter from the New Secretary of War,22 mentioning that Coll: Toussard23 is appointed Inspector of the Artillery, and that by Law24 his duty is to be pointed out by the Secretary of War, under the direction of the President, he requests my opinion to state what are the Inspector’s proper duties, as he is not yet acquainted with those of his own office. Had you made any progress in this? if so I shall be obliged to you for them, if not I will pick them out from the French Code Militaire.25 If you write to me by the return of the post or a day or two afterwards, be so good as to direct to me at Mount Vernon where Mrs: P. and myself are going for a week to pay our respects to Mrs. Washington. I shall then return to this place. I cannot get Mrs. P—— to travel where you propose, till the end of September when I shall go to North Carolina and thence to South Carolina and Georgia. I presume the Eastern States, particularly M—— are firm for Mr: A. I am told the report relative to a coalition between J & A, is erroneous.26 Be so good as to inform me, how you found the sentiments in general in the Eastern States, relative to the ensuing Election. Maryland I am told will change their mode of voting, to counteract as much as they can, the Virginia plan.27

Mrs: Pinckney unites with me in best respects to Mrs: Hamilton & I am with sincere regard & esteem

Yours truly

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

Honble Genl: Hamilton

LS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1For H’s trip to New England, see the introductory note to H to Benjamin Stoddert, June 6, 1800.

2John De Barth Walbach, a native of Germany, was a lieutenant in the Light Dragoons. On November 30, 1799, in a letter listed in the appendix to Volume XXIV, H ordered Walbach to go to Pinckney’s headquarters to assist Pinckney in the preparation of a manual for the cavalry. See also H to James McHenry, November 30, 1799; H to Pinckney, December 2, 1799; Pinckney to H, December 12, 1799, January 9, May 30, 1800.

3Pinckney’s complete cavalry regulations are entitled “Instructions to be Observed for the Formation and movement of the Cavalry” (copy, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

4No “desire” of H concerning the delivery of Pinckney’s regulations has been found, but see Pinckney to H, May 30, 1800.

5“Of Training Troop Horses” (D, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

6“Instruction of Recruits on military Equitation” (D, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

7Louis Drummond de Melfort, Traité sur la cavalerie par M. le comte Drummond de Melfort … (Paris: Impr. de G. Desprey, 1776).

8François Robichon de La Guérinière, Cours de la science militaire, a l’usage de l’infanterie, de la cavalerie, de l’artillerie, du génie et de la marine, de M. Bardet de Villenuere, Tome XI continant le Manuel de cavalerie, par M. de la Guérinière (La Haye: J. Van Duren, 1742).

9Henry Herbert, tenth earl of Pembroke, A Method of breaking horses, and teaching soldiers to ride, designed for the use of the Army (London, 1761). In 1762 a second edition “… revised, and corrected, with additions” was published, and in 1778 a “Third edition … with additions. Military Equitation; or, a method of breaking horses, etc.” was published in Sarum, England.

10William Tyndale, A Treatise on Military Equitation (London: by the author, 1797).

12Lawrence Neville, A Treatise on the Discipline of Light Cavalry with Annexed Plates (London: T. Egerton, 1796).

13John Gaspard LeMarchant, The Rules and Regulations for the Attainment and Practice of the Sword Exercises (London: T. Egerton, 1796).

14“Explication du mouvement par trois” (D, in Walbach’s handwriting, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress). H endorsed this document: “Manœvres of a Regiment of Cavalry upon the basis of the movement in three files.”

16An Elucidation of several parts of his Majesty’s Regulations for the Formation and Movements of Cavalry (London: War Office, 1798).

18See “Elements of tactics of the Infantry,” 1799.

19“Measures for improving the discipline of the Army” (D, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

20For the French, Prussian, and British rules and regulations, see H to Walbach, April 17, 1799, notes 2, 3, 4.

21The Additional Army was disbanded on June 14, 1800. See H to Nathan Rice, May 13, 1800, note 1.

22Samuel Dexter.

23Lewis Tousard, a native of France and a veteran of the American Revolution, was appointed a major in the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers on February 26, 1795 (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 173–74). On May 26, 1800, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and appointed inspector of artillery (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 364). See Tousard to H, May 26, 1800, note 1.

24“An Act to augment the Army of the United States, and for other purposes” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, I (Boston, 1845). description ends 604–05 [July 16, 1798]).

27For information concerning the presidential campaign of 1800, see the introductory note to H to Sedgwick, May 4, 1800.

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