War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0542 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

Search Civil War Official Records

and expected funds soon. Major Allen, principal quartermaster, had recently taken charge at Saint Louis, but reported great irregularities in his department, and requested special instructions. These he deemed important, as orders were communicated by a variety of persons, in a very irregular manner, requiring disbursements of money. These orders are often verbally given (see paper Numbers 4, asking for instructions) [A]. He was sending, under General Fremont's orders, large amounts of forage from Saint Louis to the army at Tipton, where corn was abundant and very cheap. The distance was 160 miles. He gave the indebtedness of the quartermaster's department in Saint Louis to be $4,506,309.73.

I regard to contracts, without an examination of the accounts it would be difficult to arrive at the facts. It is the expressed belief of many persons that General Fremont has around him in his staff persons directly and indirectly concerned in furnishing supplies. The following is a copy of a letter signed by Leonidas Haskell, captain and aide-de-camp. He, though on General Fremont's staff, is said to be a contractor for hay and forage and mules, the person named in his note, Colonel Degraf, being his partner.

HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Camp Lillie, October 2, 1861.

SIR: I am requested by the commanding general to authorize Colonel Degraf to take any hay that has been contracted for by the Government, his receipt for the same being all the voucher you require.

Respectfully, yours,

LEONIDAS HASKELL,

Captain and Aide-de-Camp.

What does this mean? Contractors deliver forage direct to quartermasters, who issue the same; but here another party steps in, and, if a contractor or the partner of one, to fill his own contract. This double transaction it is difficult to suppose is done without a consideration. The accounts should be examined, and the price paid to Degraf compared with that paid to the contractors whose forage was seized.

This same Captain Haskell, aide-de-camp, was a contractor for mules. He desired Captain Turnley to receive his animals-good, bad, and indifferent, as Captain Turnley said. This he would not do, and stated his prices for different classes-wheel, lead, &c. Besides, he had more mules than he could possibly send to the army. Notwithstanding all this, he received an order to inspect and receive Mr. Haskell's mules as rapidly as possible. Captain Turnley very soon received orders from General Fremont to leave Saint Louis and proceed to the interior. (See paper Numbers 7, showing his great labor and heavy responsibility) [B.]

By direction of General Meigs, advertisements were made to furnish grain and hay, and contracts made for specific sums-28 cents per bushel for corn, 30 cents for oats, and $17.95 per ton for hay. In face of this, another party at Saint Louis-Baird, or Baird & Palmer (Palmer being of the old firm in California of Palmer, Cook & Co.)-were directed to send to Jefferson City (where hay and corn abound) as fast as possible 100,000 bushels of oats, with a corresponding amount of hay, at 33 cents per bushel for grain and $19 per to for hay. (See paper Numbers 7, Captain Turnley's letter.)

Captain Edward M. Davis, a member of his staff, received a contract by the direct order of General Fremont for blankets. They were examined by a board of army officers, consisting of Captain Hendershott, Fourth Artillery, Captain Haines, commissary of subsistence, and Cap-