James Madison Papers
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From James Madison to Congress, 30 June 1812

To Congress

June 30th 1812

With a view, the better to adapt to the public service, the Volunteer force contemplated by the Act passed on the six [sic] day of February,1 I recommend to the consideration of Congress, the expediency of making the requisite provision for the officers thereof being commissioned by the authority of the United States.2

Considering the distribution of the military forces of the United States, required by the circumstances of our country, I recommend also to the consideration of congress, the expediency of providing for the appointment of an additional number of General officers, and of Deputies in the Adjutant’s, Quarter Master’s, Inspector’s, and Paymaster’s Departments of the Army; and for the employment in cases of emergency of additional Engineers.3

James Madison

RC, two copies (DNA: RG 233, President’s Messages, 12A-D1; and DNA: RG 46, Legislative Proceedings, 12A-E2). Both RCs in the hand of Edward Coles, signed by JM.

1See U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , 2:676–77.

2JM sought to do away with a provision of the Volunteer Act of 6 Feb. 1812 which stipulated that officers of the volunteer corps would be under the authority of state governments. On 3 July the House passed an act supplementing the Volunteer Act by providing the president with the power to “appoint and commission officers” in the corps and to organize volunteers “into battalions, squadrons, regiments, brigades and divisions, and to appoint thereto … general, field and staff officers conformably with the military establishment.” The Senate passed the bill the next day (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 12th Cong., 1st sess., 111, 312, 318, 800–801, 1567, 1580–81; U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , 2:676–77, 785–86).

3Between 30 June and 6 July, Congress passed a bill for “the support of the Military Establishment, and for the Indian Department, for the year 1812” and a bill “making further provision for the Army of the United States, and for other purposes” (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 12th Cong., 1st sess., 1567, 1571, 1573, 1574, 1581–82; U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , 2:781, 784–85).

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