Alexander Hamilton Papers
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To Alexander Hamilton from John Adlum, 7 September 1799

From John Adlum, 7 September 1799

Reading Septr. 7th. 1799

Sir

I have enclosed the proceedings of the Court Martial held by your order.

In yours of the 23rd. Ult. you inform me “The Commanding Officer of such a detachment having no power to ⟨order⟩ a Court Martial” I wish to be informed whether I have not the power to order Courts Martial in any case or whether this paragraph alludes only to General Courts Martial. The deserters I mentioned in mine of Augst. 5th. were tried and severely whiped with wired cats.

I engaged Marks J. Biddle Esquire of this place to act as Judge Advocate on the Court Martial. I ⟨—⟩ to be informed what he is to be allowed per day for ⟨—⟩ trouble.

I have made some enquiry with respect to John Forsyth whom you mention in yours of the 29th. Ult. He was Mr Lieutt. Boote’s ordely Serjeant, and now belongs to Capt. Shoemaker’s company, he has a wife and three small children in Baltimore who are probably in distress. At present he does not appear to be a weakly person, tho’ a small man he is active and muscular. but that may be owing to his different mode of life and being in constant Action since he joined the service, from his propriety of conduct and attention to his duty, he has gained the esteem of all the Officers at this place.

With great respect I am Sir Your most Obedt. Servt.

John Adlum

General Alexander Hamilton

(ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress), enclosing Marks Biddle to James McHenry, September 5, 1799 (ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress); proceedings of court-martial of David Gill, James Murphy, and Henry Landais, September 2, 1799 (DS, signed by Adlum and Biddle, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress); proceedings of court-martial of George Tyson, September 2, 1799 (DS, signed by Adlum and Biddle, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress); proceedings of court-martial of John Lewis, September 2, 1799 (DS, signed by Adlum and Biddle, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

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