George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Knox, 18 February 1792

From Henry Knox

[Philadelphia, 18 February 1792]


I propose to send a duplicate of McGillivrays letter to Seagrove, and conform his instructions thereto.1

I submit you a motions of Colo. Guns. The division to day was 15 for inserting the additional regiments to 13 against it. Colo. Burr, voted for it under some restrictions. The bill is recommitted to Mr Elsworth Mr Read[,] Hawkins, Mr Burr, and Mr Gun.2

The object of the amendment is not apparent. It has the semblance of forming a corps for some particular Character, and it reduces the troops already too few one complete battalion. I am Sir most respectfully Your humble servt

H. Knox


1For Henry Knox’s letter of 17 Feb. 1792 to Alexander McGillivray, see Knox to Tobias Lear, 17 Feb., n.1. For Knox’s instructions of 20 Feb. to James Seagrove regarding the “utter extirpation” of William Augustus Bowles and pacification of the Creek Indians, see ASP, Indian Affairs, description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends 1:249–50.

2Knox enclosed a copy of a motion made in the Senate by James Gunn of Georgia during the debate of 16–17 Jan. on the second section of “An Act for making farther and more effectual Provision for the Protection of the Frontiers of the United States.” Gunn’s motion substituted the following wording for the second article of the bill: “And be it further enacted that there shall be raised for a term, not exceeding three years, three additional Regiments, each of which exclusively of the commissioned officers, shall consist of nine hundred & twelve noncommissioned officers & privates & musicians; & that one of the sd Regiments be organized in the following manner that is to say, two battalions of Infantry, each of which exclusively of the commissioned officers, shall consist of three hundred & four noncommissioned officers, privates, & musicians; & one Squadron of Light Dragoons, which exclusively of the commissioned officers, shall consist of three hundred & four noncommissioned officers privates & musicians, & that it shall be a condition in the inlistment of the sd Dragoons to serve as dismounted Dragoons, whenever they shall be ordered thereto; that the organization of the sd Squadron of light Dragoons shall be as follows, viz. One Major, one Adjutant, one Quarter Master, one Paymaster, one Surgeons Mate, & four Troops; each of which shall consist of one Captain one Lieutenant, one Cornet, four Sergeants, four Corporals, one Farrier, one Sadler, one Trumpeter & Sixty five Dragoons; & the President may employ as many of the said Troops as Riflemen as he shall think proper” (DLC:GW). The Senate rejected Gunn’s motion and voted on 17 Feb. to accept the original second article by a vote of 15–12 (not 15–13, as Knox reported) before recommitting the bill (Annals of Congress description begins Joseph Gales, Sr., comp. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature. 42 vols. Washington, D.C., 1834–56. description ends , 2d Cong., 1st sess., 88–90).

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