I cannot but suppose that the French Government connives at this arrangement, but not from any positive knowledge. In addition to the above, I have contracted for 10,000 revolvers of the Lefaucheux patennt having already sent out a quantity of these pistols, I was induced to procure the same kind, because they require a peculiar ammunition, which, however, is easily made, and the pattern molds of which will accompany the first shipment. But in addition to this reason Mr. Phulman, the Government inspector, who accompanies me-who is now in London, I am happy to say nearly recovered from his dreadful attack of small-pox-pronounces them a first -class arm, equal if not superior to the Colt. I get them delivered on board ship, all expenses paid, for about 62 1/2 francs each, say $ 12,50; 1,500 by steamer of September 18, 3,500 certainly by steamer of October 16, and possibly 4,500; the remainder by steamer of November 16.
I have also contracted for 20,000 swords for light cavalry of the Montgomery pattern, such as are altogether in use in the French army for their light cavalry, all of them to be proved by the Government tests, and half of which I hope, but cannot yet be positive will like the rifles, come from the Government arsenals. They cost 12 1/4 francs, say &3.45 each, delivered at Havree free all charge; 5,000 by the steamer of September 18; 6,000 by steamer of October 16; the remainder by steamer of November. But if i succeed in getting them from the Government arsenals, the whole 15,000 may go by the October steamer.
By steamer of September 18: 20,000 rifles, 5,000 swords, 1,500 revolvers.
By steamer of October 16: 25 000 or 28,000 rifles; 6,000 swords (perhaps 15,000); 3,500 or 4,500 revolvers.
By steamer of November: The remainder of swords and revolvers. I have therefore laid out, or rather contracted for, the whole of my credit except $500,000. I have still to purchase 10,000 cavalry carbines, if possible. I can procure here such as are used in the French army, but they are not a first-class weapon, such as they use in England, which are nothing more or less than a small Enfield rifle, and cost just the same, deducting the cost of the bayonet. The Frech army intend substituting for this arm a long rifled pistol. I have almost concluded to buy them here of the same caliber as the rifles I send you, provided I can get them from the Government arsenals at about $9 or $10 each.
But I will inform you about this in my next letter.
For the remainder of my money I propose to contract in England for Enfield rifles, or for another supply of these French rifles, whichever can be obtained the soonest. Some promises are held out to me that I may have 30,000 more from the Government arsenals in December. If so I shall close for them.
In closing this report I wish particularly to call your attention to the condition of the trade in arms in this country and in England, Germany, &c. I have taken great pains to inform myself, and you may, I think, rely upon the correctness of my statements.
No Enfield rifles, so called, can be obtained in England, France, or Belgium except by contracts for future delivery, commencing three or four months after signing the contract. When in England, 3,000 to 4,000 per month may be obtained as long as is desired and if contracts are made for twelve months or more he delivery can be increased to 7,000 per month. Price, at present delivered at Liverpool, about $ 17.50.