From James McHenry
War Department 10 Jany 1799
I wrote you on the 1 to request you to prepare a bill conformably to the propositions contained in my report of the 24th of Decr. ulto to the President. This morning Gen. Gun of the Committee of the Senate to whom this report has been committed2 waited upon me with a request from the Committee that I should prepare and furnish them with a draught of two bills, one comprising whatever in the report relates to new provisions for the regular peace and war establishment; the other all new matters appertaining to the provisional army. He added, if I thought it proper, I might comprehend in these bills all the existing provisons relative to the provisional and regular army. I think the idea judicious; and request you to be so kind as to turn to the existing laws3 and incorporate into the two bills all that ought to be retained of them.4
Yours sincerely & affly
Majr. Gen. Alexr. Hamilton
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; ADf, James McHenry Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Space left blank in MS. McHenry is referring to his letter of January 5, 1799.
2. On January 9, 1799, it was ordered in the Senate “That the report of the Secretary for the Department of War, communicated with the Message of the President of the United States of the 31st ultimo, be referred to the committee appointed the 18th of December last, on that part of the President’s Speech respecting the extension and invigoration of the measures of defence, other than those which relate to a naval armament, to consider and report thereon to the Senate” (Annals of Congress description begins The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature (Washington, 1834–1849). description ends , VIII, 2200–01). In addition to James Gunn, the other members of the committee appointed on December 18 were John E. Howard of Maryland and James Ross of Pennsylvania (Annals of Congress description begins The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature (Washington, 1834–1849). description ends , VIII, 2196).
4. On the back of this letter H wrote: “Pay of Officers whose ranks are changed.”