War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0622 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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inspected guns they could dispose of for the then coming four or six months. When Mr. Schuyler first came here we had everything ready, and held the written offers from all the responsible and best makers in this country at 65s. sterling each. Mr. S[chuyler] did not feel authorized then to take charge of the matter and close the contracts, and consequently the supply from this city has gone into Southern hands, the agents of the Confederates then standing ready to take them at 66s.

At Birmingham several persons, all pretending to be purchasing for the United States Government, are bidding against each other, and have run up the price of rifles, which receive only a nominal inspection, and some none at all, from 60s. up to 75s. and 80s. each, and not as many guns are made there now as when they were sold at 60s. each, and of far better quality then than now, owing to more frequent strikes of workmen and there being much inferior quality of materials now used there.

The Confederates are getting some guns at Birmingham, but not enough to disturb the market. The price has been run up entirely by those claiming to be agents of the Government and by parties from New York buying on speculation. The only remedy for this bad state of things is for the Government to refuse to have anything to do with speculators, and put its own business all into the hands of one competent man, and then we should get more guns than now, of far better quality, and for at least 10s. less on each gun. Could our Government do this, and have each gun thoroughly inspected here, guns would fall in one week to 60s., and be of better quality and more of them made.

In making this statement I trust I have not gone beyond the nature of my duties. I see the evil so plainly, and it is working so disastrat I considered it my duty to direct your attention to the question.

I have the honor to be, very sincerely, your obedient servant,




November 7, 1861..


Assistant Secretary of War:

I respectfully request that no more cavalry regiments be authorized in any part of the country. Those already authorized cannot be armed and equipped for several months, and they will be all that will be required this winter.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding U. S. Armies.


November 7, 1861.


Dover, Del.:

Please make a return of the number of volunteers furnished by your State-cavalry, infantry, artillery, and sharpshooters.