Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from William North, 23 April 1800

From William North

Adjutant Generals Office [New York]
April 23d 1800.


As an order has been Issued,1 directing A return of Arms, accoutrements &c &c wanting to complete the Corps which are to take the field, to be made to the Depty Qtr Master Genl;2 it appeared to me proper that a regulation respecting the number & quantity of the articles allowed or to be allowed to a Regt should be formed & Issued. I Know of no regulation respecting the Tents & some Other articles of camp equipage either formerly or at present, & without one is published there will be no uniformity in the demands; neither with respect to tents will there be any in the encampment, some Officers will think they ought to have more others will be content with less.

The Clothing to be furnished to the Troops is regulated by Law3—but it is only from orders Issuing from the commander in Chief that Soldiers can know what they are allowed by the Government, in this view, perhaps it would be proper to add provisions to the list.

The Stationary has been reduced in the list, as low as it was thought would any way answer.

Soldiers ought certainly to be furnished with Straw, a bed sack can be easily carried by one of the men belonging to the tent, & a soldier would have no objection to pay a small matter for an article which would add so much to his comfort & render his situation so much more decent.

The forage to be allowed is as little as a horse can well do with—the calculation respecting it is

14 lb dw hay @ 8/ per lb 1  } 1. 10.½
pr day
& 24 oats @ 3/ pr bush 9  
7 lb Straw say  1.½

30 days is 56/3 pr horse—if a Brig Gen is supposed to keep two horses—The Article & price being as above, the public will save about a dollar a month—if the articles are higher they will pay some thing more than is now allowed Viz 16 dolls pr month, & so of other officers in proportion. There certainly ought to be fixed quantity of food for a horse, & it should be at the Option of the Officer to take it in kind or money. Officers may be placed in a situation where they can not feed their horses for double what is allowed them in money & it must be supposed to be the intention of government that they should be in a Situation at all times to do the duty required of them. The Whole is respectfully Submitted.

I am Sir   Your Obedt Huble Sert

W North
Adjt Gen

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

2Aaron Ogden.

3Section 20 of “An Act for the better organizing of the Troops of the United States; and for other purposes” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, I (Boston, 1845); II (Boston, 1850). description ends 754 [March 3, 1799]) reads: “And be it further enacted, That every non-commissioned officer, private, artificer, and musician of the artillery and infantry shall receive annually, the following articles of uniform clothing, to wit, one hat, one coat, one vest, two pair of woollen and two pair of linen overalls, four pair of shoes, four shirts, four pair of socks, one blanket, one stock and clasp, and one pair of buckles.”

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