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To James Madison from Alexander J. Dallas, 3 May 1815

From Alexander J. Dallas

3 May 1815

Dr. Sir

At the request of Col. Owings the inclosed letter is s[e]nt to you.1 His case has been well considered, and well decided. Major Taylor has been placed on the list. I am, Dr Sir, Yr. mo. obdt.

A. J. Dallas

RC (CSmH).

1Dallas enclosed a i May 1815 letter to him from Col. Thomas Deye Owings, Maj. Zachary Taylor, and Maj. William Bradford (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, O-12:8; 5 pp.), protesting what they understood to be the fact that officer selections for the peacetime army were to be made “without regard to corps, to Lineal promotion, to seniority of commission professional merits or services, actually performed.” After noting that the western states were not represented on the board charged with making the selections, the three officers argued that the law did not authorize “new appointments” for the purpose of organizing the peacetime army; that lowering the rank of certain officers in order to fit them into the new establishment was unfair to the inferior officers thereby excluded; and that such appointments, along with those of officers transferred from one corps to another, would require new Senate confirmations. The time-honored principle of promotion within regiments and corps, they asserted, should be maintained on grounds of equity and “public utility.”

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