of paying a very large sum of money without having received negotiable paper for one dollar of the amount, it would be an act of ingratitude on the part of the Confederate Government, which I am sure it will never be guilty of, to allow any more time to elapse than is absolutely necessary before sending forward the entire amount. Besides this amount for meeting the payments for the muskets, it will be necessary for me to have a further remittance of a considerable amount. I do not think $100,000 would be any too large a sum.
I hope the Department will entirely understand how it happens that I have so violated my instructions. I found it impossible to purchase immediately. There is no other company in all Europe so fair in its dealings and so able to go good work as the one with which I hope to contract. The price is as low as the muskets can be hand, for no other company is able to furnish muskets that are interchangeable in their parts. The pattern is the most approved Enfield, actually interchangeable with those made at Enfield. Before acting I consulted the commissioners from the Confederacy, and received their full approval of my course in the matter.
The agent sent by the United States Government to purchase arms is the best man for the duty that could have been selected, namely, Mr. McFarland, who ending engineer of the London Armory during its erection and until it was in complete working order. His instruction to make a similar contract with that company for the United States Government will come too late. In my contract I specify that I shall be the preferred purchaser for from 6,000 to 10,000 in addition to the number now ordered. If I could contract for the entire 20,000 I think I could secure them at 70 shillings, and if the Confederate Government intends to purchase a further supply, I would respectfully suggest that the great importance of interchange of parts, in a country where repairs of arms will be for many years a great expense, should be fully considered. Even I England, a nation of workers in metals, this principle is considered invaluable. In the present condition of affairs I do not think present condition of affairs I do not think it possible to send a sample to Montgomery. I shall avail myself of the first opportunity to do so.
In the matter of artillery, I have no money to purchase, and if I had it would be impossible to ship in British vessels. If I had the entire order of muskets and artillery ready for shipment I could arrange everything. It will be, however, for some time to come impossible to send any small lot of anything contraband of war. Whenever I have anything to ship I shall have the able assistance of Messrs. Fraser, Trenholm & Co. Their experience and enthusiasm will enable them to do what no other house in England would undertake. Already their assistance has been invaluable to me. Without them I could have done nothing.
I have in my possession detailed drawings of the Armstrong gun, which I shall copy and forward by the first opportunity. I shall also be able to send with these full descriptions of the mode of manufacture, as given by Sir William himself, and drawings of his fuse. These latter are not yet in my possession. Owing to my time having been entirely taken up in making arrangements for small-arms I have not been able to do much in artillery. There seems to be no doubt, however, from the inquiries I have made, that the British Government has entire confidence in the Armstrong gun. To the large guns there appears to be some objection. I shall soon be able to inform myself fully concerning the Armstrong and the several other guns that are now before the 'select committee. "