From Caleb Swan, 20 March 1800
Philadelphia March 20. 1800.
I beg leave to ask your opinion on the following point ie. whether a soldier who deserts, is retaken, punished, and returned to duty; forfeits to the united States, by the mere act of deserting, and without the interference of a Court martial, all the pay that might be previously due to him, or not?
I have examined the articles of war and the several military laws, but can find no decision of the above question. I shall be much obliged by your answer.
I have the honor to be with the greatest respect Sir Your Obt. Servt
C: Swan PMG.
(ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).