Alexander Hamilton Papers
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To Alexander Hamilton from Thomas Parker, 16 October 1799

From Thomas Parker

Winchester [Virginia] October 16, 1799. “I had forwarded pay & muster Rolls up to the 30th of September & was consoling myself with the hope of a Speedy Supply of money; when the post of yesterday Brought to my pay master1 (Instead of money) a large Supply of Blank Returns. From the paymasters Communication I Know not when we may expect a Supply as he seems to think it necessary that the Regimental paymasters should Repair to his office2 to adjust their accounts. The evils that this delay may Occasion are Incalculable. The Recruiting Business is Totally Stopped & desertion prevails in a considerable degree owing to the want of pay. Four Soldiers deserted a few nights ago But were all fortunately taken. Two of them who were most Guilty I have put in Irons as I think it absolutely necessary to make an example of them.… I am sorry that an Additional Supply of Cloathing has not arrived as It is Verry much wanted. Indeed it is Time that the Soldiers Shoud be furnished with their woollen overalls.”

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1A resident of Alexandria, Virginia, Lemuel Bent was appointed a lieutenant in the Eighth Regiment of Infantry on January 10, 1799 (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 300, 305), and was appointed paymaster of the regiment on May 2, 1799 (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 148).

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