James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Adolph Ehringhaus, 29 October 1812 (Abstract)

§ From Adolph Ehringhaus1

29 October 1812, Philadelphia. Informs JM that he wrote to the secretary of war on 16 Sept., enclosing “a Memorandum shewing the Costs of raising a Corps of Husars.” Having received no answer, expresses suspicion that his plan either was not explicit enough or was contrary to the department’s views.2 Explains his desire to be useful to his adopted country of fourteen years in his area of expertise, “having been an officer in a German Husar Corps in the french army in 1793.” Invites JM to inquire about him and offers to provide a recommendation. “I know that I can raise 400 men from amongst my Countrymen, most of whom have seen Service, who—altho considered in its fullest extent as regular enlisted U. S. Soldiers, yet under the alluring name of Volunteer free Corps, would flock to the Standard—and having a German Commander enlist freely—serve for such a time as your Excellency would designate.” Pledges that in four months he would be ready to march. Expresses his belief that a hussar corps “at the late Battle of Lewistown would have turned the Scales, by swimming through the St Lawrence—understanding that the Voice of the Commander could be distinctly heard on the American side.” Informs JM that he currently commands the first hussar corps formed in the U.S., which has offered its services to the state governor.

RC (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, E-108:6). 3 pp.; docketed as received in the War Department on 4 Nov. 1812.

1Adolph Ehringhaus was a broker in Philadelphia (John A. Paxton, Philadelphia Directory and Register, for 1813 [Philadelphia, 1813; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 29456]).

2On 6 Nov. 1812 Eustis responded to Ehringhaus: “I have the honor to inform you that the two Regiments of Dragoons belonging to the army, with such volunteer mounted Troops as had been accepted before the receipt of your Letter to this Department are deemed a sufficient force of that description” (DNA: RG 107, LSMA).

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