Evaluating the Army's Officers

Lewis's Codes for his Evaluations of Officers

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Lewis's codes

War Department Rosters of Officers,
with Lewis's Evaluations

General Staff

general staff

Jefferson's General Staff was problematic, as the multiple crosses after five of the seven names indicate. The President discharged three of the five within a year after Lewis completed his assessment. Two of the staff who had served during the Revolution were retained despite their Federalist loyalty – the adjutant, Thomas H. Cushing, and the paymaster general, Caleb Swan. Edward Turner was retained, though he resigned three years later. Most controversial of all was Jefferson's close friend, the commanding general James Wilkinson, on whom Lewis discreetly chose to register no comment.

Second Regiment of Infantry

second infantry regiment

In the summer of 1801 the War Department supplied the President with a roster of the 269 officers, all career professionals, serving in the small U.S. Army as of July 24, 1801. Jefferson retained 131 of them, most but not all of the Republican persuasion. In the page shown here – the fourth of eleven – Lewis's coded remarks are in the extreme right-hand column.1

1. Donald Jackson, "Jefferson, Meriwether Lewis, and the Reduction of the United States Army," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 125, No. 2 (April 1980), 91-96.