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WASHINGTON, December 24, 1824. SIR:
I have had it in contemplation for some time, and am prompted to the suggestion at this moment by an increased sense of its importance, to propose, for the use of the army, a compilation of the acts of congress relating thereto. It would embrace all laws of that discription, enacted since the formation of the present government, whether relating to organization, discipline, or administration; and if found convenient, would be arranged under those distinct heads, with a view to facilitate reference. The laws relating to the militia, might also be embraced in the shape of an appendix.
The importance and necessity of such a work, are believed to be apparent. That usually denominated the “Blue Book,” cannot, with propriety, be called a substitute for the one proposed. Besides being extremely deficient in matter, its arrangement is regarded as defective.
The propriety of rendering all the penal laws accessible to those on whom they are to operate, is sufficiently obvious-and it is believed to be an object of some moment, that the laws relating to organization and administration, though repealed or modified, should, also, be placed within the reach of the army. If they answer no other end by assisting in the fair interpretation of subsequent acts, they would, perhaps, be important, as presenting a complete and connected history of the military legislation-a point on which, there is some dearth of information. Scattered as those laws are at present, through six ponderous volumes of the statutes at large, it is scarcely possible that they ever can become sufficiently known.
A copious index, with now and then a note of reference, indicating essential connections between laws of different dates, would be all that I should add to a naked copy of the laws themselves, taken from an authentic source.
Should the proposition meet your approbation, I would, very cheerfully, devote my leisure to its accomplishment. I have the honor, &c. &c.
T. CROSS. Hon. John C. CALHOUN,
Secretary of War.
DEPARTMENT OF WAR, December 30, 1824. SIR:
I have received and considered your letter of the 24th instant, suggesting a compilation of the acts of congress, relating to the army and the militia.
The proposition meets my entire approbation, and you are authorized to proceed to the execution of the work as early, and with as much despatch, as your other duties will permit. The plan laid down in your letter will be adhered to, should it not be found impracticable, from the nature of the laws, to observe the classification proposed.
As all the laws will be given, it is desirable, for the sake of practical convenience, to distinguish such as have been repealed by subsequent enactments. A remark to that effect where it is obvious, and a note of reference to direct the readers attention where it is matter of doubt, should, therefore, be inserted.
I have the honor, &c. &c.
J. C. CALHOUN.
Maj. T. Cross,
United States Army.
LIST OF CONTENTS.
CHAP. 15. An act supplemental to the act for making farther and more ef.
fectual provision for the protection of the frontiers of the
Page. CHAP. 22, An act in addition to the “Act for making further and more ef
fectual provision for the protection of the frontiers of the United
66 CHAP 23. An act to establish the office of Purveyor of Public Supplies, February 23, 1795,
6Y CHAP. 24 An act for continuing and regulating the Military Establishment
of the United States, and for repealing sundry acts heretofore
68 CHAP 25. An act allowing compensation for horses killed in battle belong
ing to officers of the army of the United States, May 12, 1796, 70 CHAP. 26. An act to ascertain and fix the military establishment of the United States, May 30, 1796,
74 CHAP. 27. An act to amend and repeal, in part, the act, entitled “An act
to ascertain and fix the military establishment of the United
79 CHAP. 28. An act to provide for the further defence of the ports and har. bors of the United States, June 23, 1797,
81 CHAP. 29. An act to provide for the widows and orphans of certain deceased officers, March 14, 1798,
81 CHAP. 30. An act to provide an additional regiment of artillerists and engineers, April 27, 1798,
82 CHAP. 31. An act supplementary to the act providing for the further de.
fence of the ports and harbors of the United States, May 3, 1798, 83 CHAP. 32. An act to enable the president of the United States to procure cannon, arms, and ammunition; and for other purposes, May 4,
84 CHAP. 33. An act to amend the act, entitled “An act to amend and repeal,
in part, the act, entitled “An act to ascertain and fix the military
85 CHAP. 34. An act authorizing the president of the United States to raise a provisional army, May 28, 1798,
86 CHAP. 35. An act supplementary to, and to amend, the act, entitled “An
act authorizing the president of the United States to raise a pro-
91 CHAP. 36. An act to augment the army of the United States, and for other purposes, July 16, 1798,
92 CHAP. 37. An act to alter and amend the several acts for the establishment
and regulation of the treasury, war, and navy, departments, Ju.
95 CHAP. 38. An act to regulate the medical establishment, March 2, 1799, 96 CHAP. 39. An act giving eventual authority to the president of the United States to augment the army, March 2, 1799,
99 CHAP. 40. An act authorizing the president of the United States to fill certain vacancies in the army and navy, March 3, 1799,
102 CHAP. 41. An act for the better organizing of the troops of the United States, and for other purposes, March 3, 1799,