I regard the evidence offered as showing beyond any reasonable ground for question that Captain Walker is a man of integrity and good business habits; that as an officer he was faithful and efficient and that his duties were discharged in a manner entirely satisfactory to the troops and to the Government. The report of Captain Lazelle was the first impeachment of his official conduct that had been made. Among the persons who have borne testimony to the effect which I have stated may be mentioned the quartermaster-general and the adjutant-general of Ohio; Captain Burr, assistant quartermaster, U. S. Army; John H. Wheeler, deputy U. S. marshal of Ohio; Samuel Galloway, special U. S. commissioner; Captain McClung, assistant quartermaster; Major Kilburn; Captain Franklin Ernst, assistant quartermaster; N. B. Maple, post sutler; Captain S. F. Allen; John E. Darby, assistant surgeon; Thomas J. Kerr; Thomas Jones, who supplied a large part of the flour; Alexander McBride, late post surgeon; Charles H. Gross, postmaster at Camp Chase; Louis Zettler, one of the contractors; John M. White and James R. Rusk, who supplied the beef, together with many others. It is not possible to suppose that all the witnesses - most of whom had personal knowledge of Captain Walker's administration from its beginning to its close - were deceived and that Captain Lazelle and Colonel Allison, who observed it for a few weeks, were alone acquainted with its true character.
The wastage which is made so conspicuous a feature in the complaint lodged against this officer does not appear to have exceeded what the Army Regulations allow. That this as well as the expense of issuing the rations should have been borne by the Government was in accordance with previous usage at the post and with the interpretation given to the contract by the parties to it and seems to have been acquiesced in without objection by the Commissary-General. The proof is conclusive that instead of keeping large amounts of provisions on hand only so much was received each day from the contractors as was required to be issued. Captain Lazelle no doubt mistook the warehouse of the contractor for that of the commissary. It is another evidence how superficial and unreliable was his examination. Without further going into particulars I will state in general terms that could the testimony now on file be submitted to the consideration of a court-martial I believe that Captain Walker would be unhesitatingly acquitted of all the charges made against him, and so believing I cannot but recommend his restoration to the service.
DECEMBER 2, 1862.
On authority of this report I direct that Captain Benjamin P. Walker be restored if practicable without detriment by the dismissal.
DECEMBER 2, 1862.
Report of Judge-Advocate-General approved and restoration ordered.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.