Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:
The several acts which have been passed relatively to the military establishment of the United States and the protection of the frontiers do not appear to have made provision for more than one brigadier-general. It is incumbent upon me to observe that, with a view merely to the organization of the troops designated by those acts, a greater number officers of that grade would, in my opinion, be conducive to the good of the public service. But an increase of the number becomes still more desirable in reference to a different organization which is contemplated, pursuant to the authority vested in me for that purpose, and which, besides other advantages expected from it, is recommended by considerations of economy. I therefore request that you will be pleased to take this subject into your early consideration and to adopt such measures thereon as you shall judge proper.
George Washington, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/201631