Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Nathan Rice, 6 September 1799

From Nathan Rice

Hingham [Massachusetts] Sepr. 6th. 1799

My General

I am sorry to be under the necessity (in conformity with the directions given in the 34th article, in the recruiting instructions),1 to report to you the desertion of Six recruits, from the district rendezvous at Taunton. I enclose the list forwarded me by Major Winslow who commands there.2 He writes me, they had expressed some uneasiness at not receiving the remaining four dollars of their bounty, which they said was promised by Captain Chandler3 who inlisted them, should be paid them immediately on their arrival at the district rendezvous. Every step is taking in order to apprehend them.

A man in Captain Chandlers Company by the name of Sewall Moore, has applyed for a discharge or an exchange of him for another man, he pleads I am informd, among other reasons therefor, intoxication at the time of inlistment. I have inclosed the Statement of Lieutenant Flagg4—please to communicate directions for a guide to me herein.

With the utmost respect   I am Sir your Obt Servant

Nathan Rice

N:B In case of the apprehention of all, or any of the deserters, how shall they be tryed & punished?

N Rice

Major Genl Hamilton

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Article XXXIV of the March, 1799, War Department pamphlet Rules and Regulations Respecting the Recruiting Service reads: “On the desertion of a recruit, besides the usual exertions and means to be employed on such occasions, the recruiting officer will transmit, as soon as possible, a description of the deserter to the field officer of the district, and will cause all descriptions of deserters that may be sent to him, to be entered in a book kept for that purpose, and will use his endeavors to discover and apprehend all deserters. The commander of the district will immediately report the same to the commander of the circle; and he to the Inspector General at his quarters, and to the commanders of all the circles, who shall be nearer to his post, than the quarters of the Inspector General, to the end, that measures may every where be taken for the apprehension of deserters, and the prevention of impositions by them.” See also H to Jonathan Dayton, August 6, 1798, note 6; James McHenry to H, March 21, 1799.

3Thomas Chandler.

4Samuel Flagg, Jr., to Rice, September 2, 1799 (ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

Flagg was appointed a lieutenant in the Fourteenth Regiment of Infantry on January 8, 1799 (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 300, 303).

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