He writes the commander of the 9th U.S. Infantry Regiment, one of the first units authorized in the United States Army, concerning that unit’s initial organization
As the first Treasury secretary, Hamilton issued three brilliant, controversial reports to Congress, aimed at strengthening the national government. The first, favoring funding of the federal deficit at par and assuming state debts, helped establish national credit; the second proposed a national bank; the third advocated bounties and subsidies to boost manufacturing....
As the first Treasury secretary, Hamilton issued three brilliant, controversial reports to Congress, aimed at strengthening the national government. The first, favoring funding of the federal deficit at par and assuming state debts, helped establish national credit; the second proposed a national bank; the third advocated bounties and subsidies to boost manufacturing. Taken as a whole, Hamilton designed his program to win the public creditors to the government’s support and to help the nation develop economically. His financial and diplomatic policies inspired the formation of the Jeffersonian opposition.
Hamilton had successfully led a regiment in the Revolution, and his vision for national grandeur included establishment of a professional military, despite the traditional fear Americans had of a standing army. During the presidency of John Adams, Hamilton’s prestige remained high and members of the President’s Cabinet often sought and followed his advice. One of these was James McHenry, Adams’ Secretary of War. On July 14, 1798, with war against France looming, George Washington wrote a letter ostensibly to Hamilton indicating that he wanted Hamilton to be appointed Inspector General, which would make him second in command (after Washington) of the United States Army, which was then to be formed. Since Washington declined active command, organizing and recruiting the new Army would fall to Hamilton. President John Adams opposed the appointment, preferring someone less political (like Henry Knox), but with his Secretary of War and Washington both insisting on Hamilton, he felt he had to go along. On July 18, 1798, he nominated Hamilton and sent his name to the Senate, which approved the next day.
The 9th Infantry Regiment was one of the first units authorized in the United States Army. It first appeared as a result of the Act of July 16, 1798 that authorized twelve regiments of infantry to be assembled in January 1799. Josiah Carville Hall was named its colonel; all of the officers were appointed from Maryland, and the regiment was recruited in that state. Hall was a signer of the Maryland Declaration of March 22, 1775, which pledged support to the Continental Congress and “to each other, and to our Country, and [we] engage ourselves by every tie held sacred among mankind to perform the same at the risque of our lives and fortunes.” He led Maryland regiments throughout the Revolution, and returned to the army in 1799 with the specific purpose of organizing the 9th U.S. Infantry.
Letter signed, as Inspector General, two large pages (written on the recto and verso of a single sheet), New York, May 31, 1799, to Colonel Hall, requesting information as to the identity of his Quartermaster, approving his choice of Havre de Grace as the regimental rendezvous, and requesting that officers acknowledge their commissions by contacting the Secretary of War. “Your letters of the 25th of April and Eighth of May have remained unanswered until now…I am satisfied with the arrangements which they announce. I do not observe however that you have communicated a definitive nomination for Quarter Master; one by this time has probably been resolved upon. I shall be glad to know the person.
“As your opinion favours Havre De Grace, I consider it as established for the Regimental Rendezvous. I trust that by this time tents, and Camp Utensils as well as Cloathing have been received. The disposition of the cloathing, as to the place of deposit, is referred to your discretion. The act of receiving an advance of money by any officer will determine his acceptance of his commission. But every officer who has not before done it ought to signify that acceptance to the Secretary of War. Delay in doing it has been inconsiderate. The law is to govern in regard to the compensation of two Dollars allowed to the recruiting officers.
“I have seconded your recommendation to the Secretary of War of Thomas Hewitt and Benjamin Nowland. There accompanies this a letter on the subject of the recommendations of officers generally [not present].”
He adds a postscript: “PS June 1, 1799 / Since closing the above, yours of the 29th of May has come to hand. The proposed change of your battalion rendezvous is very agreeable to me. I did not particularly reply before because this was a matter originally intended to be left to your discretion.”
Hall chose Alexander Cooper of Hagerstown as regimental quartermaster. Nowland became a 2nd lieutenant and was discharged in 1800; Hewitt does not appear on the regimental rolls.
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