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To George Washington from Henry Knox, 24 November 1794

From Henry Knox

Department of War November 24, 1794

Sir

I have the honor to submit to your view a Statement of the non commissioned Officers and privates at present in the service of the United States specifying the places where they are and the periods which they have still to serve.

The force immediately under Major General Wayne is much lessened by the expiration of the services of his Troops and is inferior to the demand of existing circumstances. Unless therefore he be reinforced early in the ensuing spring, the advantages which he has gained in the course of the present year, which ought to be permanently secured, must be in danger of being relinquished.

The experiments which have recently been made to engage Men for Military service on the present inducements evince decisively that no expectation can be indulged of completing the numbers authorized by law without further encouragement.1 I have the honor to be with the greatest respect your obedient Servant

H. Knox
secy of War

LS, DLC:GW; LS, DNA: RG 46, entry 33; LB, DLC:GW. The second LS was submitted to Congress with GW’s message of 25 November.

1“An Act for regulating the Military Establishment of the United States,” 30 April 1790, called for an army of 1,216 privates, non-commissioned officers, and musicians. Subsequent additions by “An Act for raising and adding another Regiment to the Military Establishment of the United States, and for making farther provision for the protection of the frontiers,” 3 March 1791; “An Act for making farther and more effectual Provision for the Protection of the Frontiers of the United States,” 5 March 1792; and “An Act providing for raising and organizing a Corps of Artillerists and Engineers,” 9 May 1794, brought the authorized establishment at this time to 5,792 men. The inducements for recruits included a bounty of eight dollars upon enlistment. The commissioned officers who were recruiting were encouraged by the payment of two dollars for each recruit. Once in service, privates were paid, in addition to rations and an annual clothing allowance, three dollars per month; non-commissioned officers and musicians were paid somewhat more (1 Stat. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 119–21, 222–24, 241–43, 366–67).

On 25 Nov., GW wrote Congress: “I lay before you, a statement of the troops in the service of the United States, which has been submitted to me by the Secretary of War. It will rest with Congress to consider and determine, whether further inducements shall be held out for entering into the military service of the United States, in order to complete the establishment authorised by law” (LS, DNA: RG 46, entry 33).

Congress responded with “An Act for continuing and regulating the military establishment of the United States, and for repealing sundry acts heretofore passed on that subject,” 3 March 1795, which retained the establishment and offered an increased bounty of sixteen dollars to those re-enlisting and fourteen dollars to new recruits. The act also increased the pay of the privates, non-commissioned officers, and musicians by one dollar per month (1 Stat. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 430–32).

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