James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Alexander J. Dallas, 12 May 1815

Department of War. 12d. May 1815

The Acting Secretary of War has the honor to submit to the President of the United States, the following Report:

That the Act of Congress, entitled "An Act being the military peace establishment of the United States", passed on the 3d. of March 1815, provided that after the Corps constituting the peace establishment were found and completed, the Supernumerary Officers, non-commissioned Officers, musicians and privates should be discharged from the service of the United States from and after the 1 day: of May ensuing the date of the Act, or as soon as circumstances might permit. But it was soon found impracticable to obtain from all the Military Districts, the information which was requisite to do justice to the Army and to the Nation, in reducing the military establishment from a force of [  ] thousand men to a force of 10,000 men, so early as the 1: of May. And it is obvious that circumstances do not even yet permit the entire reduction contemplated by the Act of Congress, with regard as well to the organization of the Corps as to the settlement of the numerous accounts depending in the Quarter Master, Commissary and Pay Departments, and the Medical Care of the Troops at the many Military stations, to which they must be apportioned.

That having, however, diligently collected from every proper source of information, the necessary materials for deciding upon the various subjects involved in the execution of the Act of Congress; and having obtained from the Board of General Officers convened at Washington, the most valuable assistance; the Acting Secretary of War respectfully lays the result before the President of the United States in the form of four General Orders to be issued from this Department:

No. 1. A General Order announcing the Military Divisions and Departments of the United States; the Corps and Regiments constituting the Military peace establishment; and the distribution and appointment of the Troops.

No. 2. A General Order announcing the Army Register, for the peace establishment, including the Officers provisionally retained in service, until circumstances shall permit their discharge.

No. 3. A General Order, ⟨   ⟩ the supernumerary officers, non-commissioned officers, musicians, and privates to be paid; and discharging them from the service of the United States on the 1. day of June next; or as soon thereafter as payment can be compleated: Provided 1: that such Officers of every rank, as may be necessary to supply vacancies created by resignations by the first organization of the Corps and Regiments for the peace establishment, shall be deemed to be in service for that purpose alone; and 2d. that Paymasters, Quarter Masters, Commissaries, and other Officers, who have been charged with the disbursement of public money, shall be deemed to be in service for the single purpose of rendering their accounts for settlement within a reasonable time.

No. 4. A General Order, requiring the Major Generals to assume the command of their respective Divisions, and to proceed to form and distribute the Corps and Regiments for their respective commands according to the system announced for the military peace establishment

All which is respectfully submitted.

DNA: RG 107—LRUS—Letters Received by the Secretary of War, Unregistered Series.

Index Entries