Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Josias Carvel Hall, 11 September 1799

From Josias Carvel Hall, 11 September 1799

Havre de Grace Septr. the 11th. 99


Our Desaertions ⟨—⟩ 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...."

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