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Circular on Recruiting Service, [18–19 February 1799]

Circular on Recruiting Service1

Circular

[New York, February 18–19, 1799]

Sir

The recruiting service, as connected with the duties of Inspector General, has been committed by the Department of War to my superintendence.2 It is expected that it will shortly commence for the additional troops which are intended to be raised.3 [Two Regiments of Infantry are]4 assigned to Massachusettes. It is conceived to be expedient that for the purpose of recruiting them the state shall be divided into [four] districts, and these four into [twenty] sub districts or company rendezvousses within each of which a Company is to be raised.

You will be pleased, [taking to your aid such of the field officers heretofore appointed for the two regiments as you can convene without loss of time and consulting with General Brooks]5 whose opinion you will specially transmit to devise a plan for the distribution of the state into the necessary number of districts & sub districts and you will without delay report the result to me. Dispatch is essential; & I doubt not that upon this and upon every other occasion you will display zeal and activity.

With great consideration I am   Sir   Your obed servant

New York A “One Regiment of Infantry is”
B Two
C ten
 
Connecticut A “One Regiment of Infantry”
B Two
C ten
Maryland same
Ne⟨w⟩ Hampshire A “Four Companies”
B One
C four
Rhode Island A Three Companies
B One
C three
Vermont A Three Companies
B One
C three
New Jersey A six companies
B Two
C six
Pensylvania A Thirteen Companies
B Three
C Thirteen
Virginia A four6
B four
C Twenty
Massachusettes
N Carolina A Nine Companies
B Two
C Nine
D consulting with Brigadier General Davy7 if it can be done without material delay,

ADf, dated February 18, 1799, to Simon Elliot, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; ALS, dated February 18, 1799, to Ray Greene, sold at Goodspeed’s Book Shop, Boston, March, 1941; ALS, dated February 18, 1799, to Ebenezer Huntington, sold at Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., May 14–15, 1945; LS, dated February 18, 1799, sold at Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., October 30–31, 1944; Df, dated February 19, 1799, to Daniel Morgan, in the handwriting of Philip Church with insertions by H, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; ALS, dated February 19, 1799, to Theodore Sedgwick, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston; Df, dated February 19, 1799, to Theodore Sedgwick, in the handwriting of Philip Church with insertions by H, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1H endorsed the draft of this letter: “To Lt Col Comrs. Circular Recruiting service.” He also sought the opinion of prominent Federalists, for the letters listed above to Daniel Morgan, Ray Greene, and Theodore Sedgwick are similar in content to the draft though they differ in wording. See also H to Henry Lee, February 18, 1799, and Samuel Livermore to H, February 22, 1799 (listed in the appendix to this volume), in which Livermore divided New Hampshire into recruiting districts; LS, in the handwriting of William LeConte and with additions in H’s handwriting, to Ebenezer Huntington, The Hulbert Taft, Jr., Library, The Taft School, Watertown, Connecticut.

3See “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]).

4The material within brackets differs according to the recruiting requirements of the state in which the recipient of this circular lived. H marked the spaces where he put the brackets “A,” “B,” “C,” and “D.” These spaces were to be filled in from the material on the list he wrote at the bottom of the draft.

5John Brooks was one of the brigadier generals nominated by John Adams to the Additional Army on July 18, 1799, and approved by the Senate on the following day (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 292, 293). He declined the appointment (Godfrey, “Provisional Army,” description begins Charles E. Godfrey, “Organization of the Provisional Army of the United States in the Anticipated War with France, 1798–1800,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, XXXVIII (1914: Reprinted, New York, 1965). Godfrey confuses the Provisional Army with the Additional Army. description ends 133).

6In the letter sent to Daniel Morgan the number of regiments to be raised is “Two.” Morgan, a veteran of the American Revolution, had been appointed a brigadier general on April 11, 1792 (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 117, 119).

7William R. Davie.

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