Want to save this letter now that you've found it?
It's easy - just create your own collection of letters after signing up for a free account.
By inquiry, I have learned that General Patterson's brigade, which is the one you propose to send, is by far the weakest of the three now here, and does not consist of more than about six hundred rank and file fit for duty. It is true, that there is a militia regiment with it of about two hundred, but the time of service for which this regiment is engaged is so near expiring, that it would be past by the time the men could arrive at their destination.
Under these circumstances, I cannot consider it either as compatible with the good of the service, or my instructions from his excellency General Washington, to consent that that brigade be selected from the three to go to him, but I am under the necessity of desiring, by virtue of my orders from him, that one of the others be substituted instead of this, either General Nixon's or General Glover's, and that you will be pleased to give immediate orders for its embarkation.
Knowing that General Washington wished me to pay the greatest deference to your judgment, I ventured so far to deviate from the instructions he gave me, as to consent, in compliance with your opinion, that two brigades should remain here instead of one. At the same time, permit me to observe, that I am not myself sensible of the expediency of keeping more than one, with the detached regiments in the neighbourhood of this place, and that my ideas coincide with those gentlemen whom I have consulted on the occasion, whose judgment I have much more reliance upon than on my own, and who must be supposed to have a thorough knowledge of all the circumstances. Their opinion is, that one brigade and the regiments before mentioned would amply answer the purposes of this post. When I preferred your opinion to other considerations, I did not imagine you would pitch upon a brigade little more than half as large as the others, and finding this to be the case, I indispensably owe it to my duty to desire, in his excellency's name, that another may go instead of the one intended, and without loss of time. As it may be conducive to despatch to send Glover's brigade, if agreeable to you, you will give orders accordingly.
- Alexander Hamilton
- The Life of Alexander Hamilton by His Son, JOHN C. HAMILTON, Vol. I., 1834