To Zebulon M. Pike1
New York, May 3, 1799. “The Secretary of War has transmitted me your letter of 23rd April.2 The practice of drawing rations for the Sons of Soldiers cannot be sanctioned.”
Df, in the handwriting of Philip Church, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Pike was a second lieutenant in the Second Regiment of Infantry.
2. In this letter Pike had written to James McHenry: “… I have with me a young lad whom I brought from the Mississippi whose father is in the service, it being customary in that Country to draw rations for the sons of soldiers. I had always drew his subsistence but a doubt arising after my joining the troops at this place [Reading, Pennsylvania] I omitted drawing till I should be better informed on the subject” (copy, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress). On November 3, 1797, Brigadier General James Wilkinson, who was commanding the Western Army, had ordered: “The Children of the army are to be allowed a ration pr. day & a woman who suckles an infant half a ration extra but no allowance to the infant” (LC, RG 94, Adjutant General’s Office, General Orders, General James Wilkinson, 1796–1808, National Archives).