In Liege, Belgium, the same, not more than 1,500 or 2,000 per month, unless for a very long contract, when perhaps 3,000 per month might be obtained say after first six months. Price some as England now.
France same as Liege. All these prices, I think, will fall a few months hence, unless the rebels have actually got the money they assert themselves to have, and propose to secure all these establishments for their use.
None of these arms are interchangeable, and if contracts are made with manufacturers not forming a part of their great associations, they rtablishments will make the arms after any designated pattern.
When you to beyond these manufactories, both England and the continent are flooded with arms of all kinds in large and small guantities, hawked about for sale. Some belong to Governments who have substituted better ones in their arsenal, mostly in the hands of speculators, or persons who have the refusal of them. The prices all vary; they will probably take half or a third of what they ask; and very often half a dozen brokers offer you the same lot, each with a different story as to his special advantages in getting them as a great favor. All this time they are never sold.
I will give you a few instances. By the last steamer you sent me a proposal of a Mr. Schiffin, I think was the name, to sell you a large quantity of arms at a low price. I have ascertained these to be condemned arms furbished up anew.
Mr. Sanford, our minister at Brussels, had actually engaged but fortunately did not take, a lot of 10,000 rifles, purporting to be same as those I have secured, and at even a higher price, delivered at Genoa . I have ascertained they are arms of an old pattern, which have been used and repaired. How good they may be I cannot say, but ought to be purchased for $12.
I extend these remarks because persons have called upon me, in London and here, saying they are purchasing arms by arms by order of the Government. Generally I think they were speculators, and I wish to guard you against them.
If any cheap arms are desired-and my present instructions cover nothing of the sent-you now know exactly how the market stands.
I have been assisting Mr. Dayton, our minister, principally as interpreter, in closing his contracts for the clothing, equipment, &c., of 10,000 men-Chasseurs de Pied de la Ligne. The contract was closed yesterday to about $500,000, and the whole will be shipped by steamer of October 16. It was necessary to stipulate for clothing of a larger size, as most of these Frenchmen are more like boys in height though tolerably broad shouldered.
You will please excuse the length of his communication, but as it embraces all I have to say upon general subjects connected with arms, in future my notes will be shorter.
With much respect, your obedient servant,
GEORGE L. SCHUYLER.
Washington City, D. C., September 5, 1861.
If you can send three or full regiments infantry without arms or uniforms, with orders, to report to General McClellan, they can be