From Josias Carvel Hall, 11 September 1799
Havre de Grace Septr. the 11th. 99
⟨—⟩ encrease so rapidly that I believe some Examples of Severity will become necessary Suppose they are condemned to work on some Fortification’s with Badges of infamy—Six went off last Night. I have five Officers in persuit. I shall perhaps incur more Expence than will be allowed. But I thought it necessary to use uncommon Exertion to take them. It is four Weeks since I gave pointed orders for assembling the Officers & their Recruits. They have not all arrived. ⟨——⟩ engaged in mustering those who are present
With great Consideration I have the Honor to be Sir Yr most Obdt. Servt
Jo. Carvel Hall
(ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress). On the cover H wrote a draft of his reply: "
I have He will have seen by some former letter of mine the impression coinciding with him that Desertion exists to an alarming degree & that it is necessary to repress it by the severity of Punishment. It is not for me to influence the opinions I would not wish to influence opinion in any particular case but it is my belief tha⟨t⟩ a few examples of Capital punishment perhaps." In the margin of the first page there is an "X" mark beside the line in the first paragraph beginning "to use uncommon Exertion...."