James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Armstrong, 15 June 1814

From John Armstrong

War Dept. 15th. June 1814.


I have the honor to send you the letter book of this Dept. with the orderly book of the Adjt. & In. General’s Office. The correspondence you wish to inspect, will be indicated by the slips of paper inserted between the pages.1

The instructions to the commissioners appointed to treat with the No. Western Indians, will be copied to-morrow morning,2 when, if Col. Wadsworth has not left town, reports of the small arms will also be sent.3 I am Sir, with the utmost respect, Your most Obedt. servant

J. Armstrong

RC (InU-Li: War of 1812 Manuscripts).

1See JM to Armstrong, 15 June 1814. The marked letters in the War Department letterbook evidently included sixteen addressed to Maj. Gen. William Henry Harrison from 29 Dec. 1813 through 28 May 1814 (all printed in Esarey, Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison, Indiana Historical Collections, 2:612–52); fifteen addressed to Maj. Gen. James Wilkinson from 1 Jan. through 23 May 1814; and three, dated 22, 24, and 28 May 1814, addressed to Tennessee militia Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson (for the first and third, see JM to Armstrong, 24 May 1814, n. 4). Also probably marked were Armstrong’s letters to Brig. Gen. Thomas H. Cushing, commanding the First Military District, 21 May and 2 June 1814; Maj. Gen. Henry Dearborn, commanding the Third Military District, 16 and 26 May and 2 June 1814; Brig. Gen. Joseph Bloomfield, commanding the Fourth Military District, 2, 6, and 14 May 1814; Brig. Gen. Moses Porter, commanding the Fifth Military District, 12 June 1814; Maj. Gen. Thomas Pinckney, commanding the Sixth Military District, 2, 17, and 26 May and 1 and 8 June 1814; and Brig. Gen. Thomas Flournoy, commanding the Seventh Military District, 26 May 1814. Finally, the marked letters likely included seven to Maj. Gen. Jacob Brown dated from 7 May through 9 June 1814; two to Brig. Gen. Edmund Pendleton Gaines dated 10 and 11 June 1814; and eight to Maj. Gen. George Izard dated from 6 May through 11 June 1814 (DNA: RG 107, LSMA).

Evidently marked in the adjutant general’s order book were twenty pages of general orders dated from 2 May through 14 June 1814, all except three having to do with routine personnel matters. The exceptions included two orders of 12 May 1814, the first of which called for the assignment of a second lieutenant in each company of artillery “to receipt and account, for all ammunition, implements, and Cannon furnished by the Ordnance department for said Company,” and the second of which consolidated several regiments (see JM to Armstrong, 24 May 1814, and n. 7); and one of 22 May 1814, which prohibited dueling (DNA: RG 94, General Orders).

2Armstrong’s 11 June 1814 instructions to William Henry Harrison, Isaac Shelby, and Lewis Cass for negotiating a treaty with the northwestern Indians stipulated that the document contain articles establishing peace and forming an alliance between the Indians and the United States against Great Britain. The latter object was to be accomplished by promises of “pay and subsistence,” arms, clothing, blankets, and special commissions for Indians serving with the U.S. Army. Armstrong also suggested that the commissioners attempt to extinguish the Indian title to lands in western Ohio by offering “a tract of equal dimensions” west of Lake Michigan in exchange, but only if the proposal did not arouse “disagreeable sensations” among the Indians (DNA: RG 75, LSIA).

3Armstrong evidently transmitted a “Return of arms made & repaired at Springfield Mass. in 1813 & 1814” (DLC; 1 p., filed at January 1814), which stated the number of muskets that had been made, repaired, and shortened in each month of 1813 and January through May 1814; the totals included 8,720 made, 10,613 repaired, and 7,042 shortened (of which 4,562 were described as “cut—not finished”) in 1813, and 4,356 made, 3,609 repaired, and 300 shortened in the first five months of 1814.

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