I am looking for information on the Military Peace Establishment of March 16, 1802 and how it relates to the establishement of the Lewis & Clark Expedition's Corps of Discovery. According to the Center for Military History, this "organization allowed for two regiments of infantry, one regiment of artillery, a small corps of engineers, and the general staff - a total of 3,287 officers and men."
Would this be the extent of federal troops in the US Military? If so, would this be only for the organization of the Army, and not of the Navy and Marines?
If this designation encompasses the total of the US Army from 1802 thereafter, then would the establishment of the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery constitute a special expansion of these numbers? Or, would the Corps be consider within the limits set by this act?
I ask these questions because I want to understand the military context within which the Corps existed.
For example, as a military unit whose mission was exploration, were they therefore differently constituted than a unit whose mission was defense? Of course, their activities would be different, but would the organization of the unit be different or if not, then how would that organization as executed be different.
Obviously, if you know the story, Meriwether Lewis felt he had a great deal more latitude in his conduct as the leader of the Expedition than a captain in a comparable company would have.
For example, Lewis shared leadership with William Clark, referring to him as a captain, though his commission was as a lieutenant. In a setting where accountability would be more direct, this probably would not have occurred.
The question I want to answer in this research is to what extent was the military organization, training,and discipline responsible for the success of the Corps of Discovery.
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