On Report, Gentlemen!

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Lewis Cass (1782-1866), the author of this succinct inspection report, was in 1813 a full colonel in the Regular Army of the United States and major general of Volunteers. He shared command over the 8th Military District, which included present-day Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Missouri, and was also, during the War of 1812, in active command of the 3rd Ohio. His later brilliant career included service as Secretary of State under President Buchanan. This forthright report to a superior officer has none of the four-page (plus attachments) gobbledygook required today in the rating of government employees. It is to the point and occasionally (poor Ensign Rehanl) damningly so. It comes from old War Department files and from a period when, on America’s social scale, the Irish were very low indeed.