On 6th November, the Brigadier responded to an earlier letter from Col. Elisha Tracy, who was in charge of purchases at Norwich. Much of what he said was routine and unsurprising. It’s the bit at the end that startled me.
On my return to this place from New Haven last evening, I received your favour of the 4th instant, with N. Stars letter which is herewith returned.
The Swords for Captain McKeons company may be dispensed with for the present.
You may promise M’r Morgan my receipt for the Guns, or pass your own receipt by my order.
I shall call on you in a few days on my way to Providence and NewPort, at one of which places I shall probably take up my Quarters, as Colonel Kingsbury must be relieved and ordered to New Jersey to superintend the recruiting service for his Regiment, and I have no field officer to relieve him.
Have you seen the Secretarys plan for filling up the army? and can it be carried into effect in New England? If it can, we must soon have an ample force, both for offence and defence, and I trust, bring the War to an honorable close in all the year 1815, but I am not without my fears, that this plan will meet with great and serious opposition in this land of Steady Habits.
See, and all this time I’d thought the “steady habits” sobriquet had been invented by historians! Apparently it was some kind of self-description, in use as early as 1814.
Yes, it wasn’t the fact that he can’t replace an important officer; nor that he thought there might be trouble in New England over the proposed plan to increase Army enlistment (whatever it was). Those things, I expect by now. But I can still learn new things from this process!