John C. Miller: Alexander Hamilton: Portrait in Paradox: 1959

Speaking of the intimate friendships formed among these mostly aristocratic young gentlemen "of good family and breeding," who served as Washington's immediate military aides, Hamilton's biographer John C. Miller declares in 1959:

The friendships thus formed in the army were compared by the young men themselves to that of Damon and Pythias, and they expressed their devotion in the high-flown literary language of the day. In their letters it is not uncommon to find them addressing each other in terms certain to provoke a riot in even the best-regulated present-day barracks or mess hall. For example, John Laurens, one of Washington's aides, saw nothing strange in writing to his friend Richard Meade in this strain: "Adieu: I embrace you tenderly.... My friendship for you will burn with that pure flame which has kindled you your virtues." Laurens addressed Hamilton as "My Dear" and his letters abound in flowery protestations of undying affection, to which Hamilton responded with the touching declaration: "I love you."

Hamilton and Laurens belonged to a generation of military men that prided itself not upon the hard-boiled avoidance of sentiment but upon the cultivation of the finer feelings. Theirs was the language of the heart, noble, exalted and sentimental. For Hamilton and Laurens were not merely soldiers doing a job; they were classical scholars whose thoughts and actions were colored by the grandeur of antiquity. They lived -- and often died -- by the code of the heroes of Plutarch.[1]

John C. Miller, Alexander Hamilton: Portrait in Paradox (New York: Harper and Brothers. 1959), p. 22.