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Epaphras Hoyt of Deerfield, Massachusetts, was a Brigade Major and an inspector of the Massachusetts Militia when he wrote these "Practical Instructions" for officers. Hoyt had long been a student of Military Science. He joined the faculty of Deerfield Academy and offered in 1807 a course on the "Theoretical and Practical Art of War. " A staunch Federalist opposed to the foreign policies of President Thomas Jefferson's administration, Hoyt's course description called upon the academy's young men to note the "Present Critical Situation of our Country" and enroll in his course.