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into as many districts as there are companies to be raised in them, and forwarding to the officers to be employed respectively in each district, through the commandant, their recruiting instructions, with orders, either to hold themselves prepared to enter upon the service the moment they receive your ulterior directions, or to engage provisionally as many recruits are willing to enroll themselves on their lists, and who may be promised pay from the day of their being enrolled and sworn, with their bounty, upon the officer receiving his final instructions, or (which perhaps is safer) upon their arrival at the general rendezvous.
The instructions advert to the qualifications of recruits in general terms. It may be proper to be more particular than the instructions are respecting enlistments for the cavalry.
The important services to which the cavalry are destined (the event of actions sometimes depending solely upon their valor and impression,) renders it indispensable, that such corps be composed of the best materials, and, in proportion to the small number assigned to the army and the effects expected to be produced by them, that the utmost care be observed in their selection.
Let the regulations, then, upon this point restrict the recruiting officer to engage none except natives for this corps, and, of these, such only as, from their known character and fidelity, may be trusted to the extent of their powers.
The size of the cavalry recruit deserves a degree of attention. Warnery observes very justly in his remarks on cavalry, " that, in every species of cavalry, the man ought to be proportioned to the size of his horse, and the arms with which he is to serve adapted and proportioned to them both, and to the nature of the service to be performed; consequently the cuirassier should be larger and his arms heavier than the dragoon, and these more so than the light horse or hussars. A small man has great difficulty to mount a large horse, particularly with a cuirass; they should all, however, be muscular and robust, but not heavy; the Prussian dragoons are too heavy for their horses; and it is ridiculous to see a large man upon a small horse, which, by being strained with too much weight, is very soon ruined, and the trooper dismounted; a man who is more than five feet eight inches ought not to be received into the cavalry."
It will be proper that Major-General Pinckney should attend to the recruiting service in the division of country assigned to his command, and that he should receive from you all the necessary instructions upon the subject.
You will report monthly to the Secretary of War an abstract of the number of men recruited, the clothing which may be wanted, and the necessary moneys to be remitted for the service.
Enclosed is a schedule of the officers, who have accepted their appointments, with their respective places of residence annexed. Enclosed also is a list of the officers at present employed in the recruiting service, and their places of residence.
Should you think the existing instructions to recruiting officers require revision, or that additional articles are necessary for the extensive field we are entering upon, to give more system to the business, you will report the alterations or additions, that they may be submitted to the President for his decision, incorporating therein those which respect the cavalry.
You will also indicate to me, as soon as possible, the several stations where rations must be provided, that measures may
be taken accordingly.
Connected with this subject is another of considerable importance; I mean the permanent disposition of the troops after they shall have been raised.
Having taken the opinion of General Washington on this point, it is thought advisable that it should be adopted, until a change of circumstances shall render a different disposition proper. The General observed, that, though it might now be premature to fix a permanent disposition of the troops, it might, nevertheless, be useful to indicate certain stations, where they may be assembled provisionally, and may probably be suffered to continue while matters remain in the present posture. The stations eligible in this view may be found for two regiments in the vicinity of Providence River, near Uxbridge ; for two other regiments in the vicinity of Brunswic in New Jersey; for two other regiments in the vicinity of the Potomac near Harper's Ferry; for two other regiments in the vicinity of Augusta, but above the Falls of the Savannah. This disposition, the General observed, will unite considerations relative to the discipline and health of the troops, and to the economical supply of their wants. It will also have some military aspects; in the first place towards the security of Boston and Newport; in the second, towards that of New York and Philadelphia; in the third and fourth, towards that of Baltimore, Charleston, Savannah, and the southern States generally; and, in the third, particularly towards the reinforcement of the western army in certain events. But, he subjoined, the military motives have only a qualified influence, since it is not doubted, that, in the VOL. XI. 72
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prospect of a serious attack upon this country, the disposition of the army ought to look emphatically to the southern region, as that which is by far most likely to be the scene of action.
It was also the General's opinion, which is concurred in, that the companies directed to be added to the regiments of the old establishment ought, as soon as is convenient, to reinforce the western army, and that their destination in the first instance may be Pittsburg
His opinion is also in general to be adopted relative to the disposition of the artillery. He proposed to assign a complete battalion to the western army; to the fortifications at Boston, one company; to those at New York, two companies; to those at Newport, two companies ; to those at West Point, one; to those at Mud Island, two; to those at Baltimore, one; to those at Norfolk, two; to those on Cape Fear River, one; to those at Charleston, two; to those at Savannah, one; to those at the mouth of the St. Mary's, one. It is thought there may be some other fortified places on the seaboard that will require attention, which is left to you to decide upon, after you have taken a deliberate view of the subject. He is further of opinion, that the remaining two battalions had better be reserved for the army in the field, and that, during the winter, they may retain the stations they now occupy; but that, as soon as they can conveniently go into tents, it will be advisable to assemble them at some central or nearly central point, there to be put in a course of regular instruction, together with successive detachments of the officers and noncommissioned officers of the seaboard garrisons, until their services shall be actually required.
You will therefore give effect to the aforesaid disposition, and so arrange the companies of artillery, that those belonging to the same regiment or corps may form contiguous garrisons.
You will also make such an arrangement of the subalterns to the captains of artillerists and engineers, as in your opinion will produce the greatest harmony among the officers, and good to the service. Enclosed is a list of the names of all the officers in the army, classed according to their respective regiments or corps, with the date of their commissions.
A system of regulations being wanted for the government and discipline of the volunteer companies, you will, as soon as convenient, report one for the consideration of the President.
Enclosed is the copy of a letter to Brigadier-General Wilkinson, dated the 31st of January, 1799, by which you will perceive that he is instructed to wait your orders.
Considering with what view the posts, which our troops occupy on the Lakes, were originally erected, it may be useful to employ a judicious engineer to survey them and the adjacent country on the Lakes, in order that it may be ascertained, in the various relations of trade and defence, whether they are susceptible of any beneficial changes. You will for this purpose select from the corps of artillerists and engineers, at a convenient time, a qualified officer to make the necessary survey, and report the result relative to these objects.
It is required that you report, as soon as it can be done with convenience, a system of regulations for the government of the inspector-general, and the assistant inspectors of every description, expressive of their duties and functions, and comprising the duties of those officers to whom their functions are applicable.
I need not urge it upon you, to exercise the most vigilant superintendence over every branch of the service within the sphere of your command. I cannot avoid, however, calling your particular attention to the discovery of the causes,
induce irregularity in the police of the armies, in the field, and in our posts or garrisons upon the different frontiers of the United States; and enjoin, that every legal and proper step be instantly resorted to, which the laws or the usages of armies authorize on such occasions, to punish the offenders, and produce a salutary result. It is expected, that you will neglect no means of obliging, at the stated periods, the proper officers to make all returns requisite to exhibit the number and state of the troops in every position ; to forward their muster and pay rolls, returns of the quantity of clothing delivered, on hand, or due to the soldiers, of the distribution generally of the public property, of the quantity and situation of every article in store, of the supplies which are or may be wanted, and every other exhibit and return necessary to the information of the Secretary of War, and indispensable to the accounting officers of the war department.
You know precisely how much the regularity and perfection of such returns depend on the disposition of officers to execute their orders; and that a saving to the public, or a judicious and well-regulated economy, is rather more to be expected from the integrity, vigilance, and knowledge of those who are intrusted, or have a control over the army expenditures and property, than from the wisest general regulations or instructions that can possibly be devised. Whenever there is found a deficiency of secure deposites for, or a want of requisite qualities in the officer charged with the care and management of, the public property, it is expected that you will remedy the evil, if within your lawful powers, or point to the circumstance, that it may be considered by the authority competent to the remedy.
Finally, I cannot conclude these instructions without expressing my most unlimited confidence in your talents to execute the high trusts, which the President reposes in you, and my own most perfect reliance upon your coöperation and assistance in every thing that concerns the army establishment, and the means to remedy whatever defects may be found to exist therein ; and that I shall at all times recognise, in the execution of the orders which you may receive, the most perfect evidences of your candor and friendship. I have the honor to be, &c.
No. XXI. pp. 468, 469.
REMARKS ON THE DIVERSITY OF OPINIONS IN THE CABI
NET, RELATIVE TO A MISSION TO FRANCE.
TIMOTHY PICKERING TO GEORGE WASHINGTON.
Trenton, 24 October, 1799. SIR, When I last wrote to you, I had grounds to expect, on the President's arrival, that the mission to France would be suspended until the fate of its government should be known. This great question I supposed (and my colleagues had formed the same expectation) would be a subject of consultation. But we have been disappointed. The President alone considered and decided. Whether he has “considered it in all its relations," he only can tell; but if he has, his conclusions are fatally erroneous, and such clearly was his reasoning on the consequences of the mission, as recited by Judge Ellsworth, after he and Governor Davie had dined with the President. He did not consult us, because he had long deliberated on the subject, had made up his mind, and this was unchangeable. To this effect he spoke to Mr. Stoddert, who, after receiving a written order to get the frigate ready, called to ask him some question.
Mr. Murray (in letters mostly private, which I have laid before