James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Joseph Wheaton, 23 December 1812

From Joseph Wheaton

Wooster Decr. 23d. 1812

Excellent Sir

Since I wrote: has fallen into my hands the Pittsburg paper, the commonwelth,1 in which I with great pain read the disasterous affair at Black rock or opposite Queenstown—but indeed Sir My daily discoveries of desertion and insubordination evinces to Moral certainty that nothing effectual can be done by Such troops—and that no alternative is left but to resort to an efficient regular Army—a bounty of fifty dollars pr. Man—with necessary Strictness in discipline—commanded by Selected Officers will effect every purpose—you will pardon me for expression, the result of observation, with truth—it is the interest of the country & your glory I Seek—pray Sir give to the officers of the Quartermaster Generals department—(not of the line of the Army) Military rank—in proportion to their worth & experiance—with the homage of my heart I am Excellent Sir faithfully your devoted Servant

Joseph Wheaton

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Several issues of the Pittsburgh Commonwealth contained news of the events at Queenston. As Wheaton’s last letter to JM is dated 10 Dec. 1812, it is uncertain which issue he referred to here. Articles on the “Battles of Queenston” and “War Events at Black Rock” appeared in the 4 Nov. 1812 issue, an “Official Account of the Battle of Queenston” appeared in the 11 Nov. 1812 issue, and “Another View of the Battle of Queenstown” appeared in the 2 Dec. 1812 issue. The 16 Dec. 1812 issue contained an update on the “Progress of the War on the Niagara Frontiers” as well as George McFeeley’s official report to Alexander Smyth describing an attack on Fort Niagara from Fort George.

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