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Brfg. Gen. J/t^'KINSTRY, ^ 



Quarter Master General U. S. A., Washington, D. C. : 

St. Louis, June 2d, 1862. 

It is known to you that in November last, on my return from 
the Arkansas border, where I had been in command of a division of 
General Fremont's co7-ps d'armee, I was arrested by order of General 
McClellan and was placed in close confinement at the St. Louis Ar- 
senal. The order forbade communication with any one. Be- 
fore my own arrest, my chief clerk and my cashier were imprisoned, 
and the books and papers relating to my administration of affairs, as 
Chief Quartermaster of this Department, were seized and placed in 
the hands of irresponsible persons, beyond my control. 

Up to this day, after a lapse of more than six months, I have not 
been informed upon what ground my arrest was made ; and, so far 
as I know, charges have not yet been preferred against me, unless 
the vagaries of Mr. S. T. Glover, hereinafter alluded to, are to be 
considered charges. 

The Articles of War (art. 79) in providing that " no officer or 
soldier who shall be put in arrest shall continue in confinement more 
than eight days, or until a court martial can be assembled," seem to 
contemplate a speedy hearing ; but, to accelerate matters, I asked 
for a trial, or a court of enquiry, immediately after my arrest. 
Some weeks having elapsed and no response to my request being 
given, I again demanded-a hearing in some form, and have since 
made repeated applications of the same import, through the agency 
of friends, to the President, Secretary of War, and the Judge Advo- 
cate General. All these efforts to obtain a hearing have been in 
vain and I am still under arrest, though on the 22d February last 
my limits were enlarged to this city. 

In the mean time, besides individual assaults upon my character, 
portions of the public press have assailed me, and the most foul and 
malicious slanders concerning me have been made public in two 

Congressional reports, — one being that of the Special Investigating 
Committee of the House of Representatives, known as the " Van 
Wyck " Committee, and the other that of the Commission on War 
Claims at St. Louis. 

I am not content to rest longer under such unjust and ijijurious 
imputations as have been cast upon me ; but feel it my duty to my- 
self and my family to vindicate my honor and to expose the malice, 
the corruption and the shameless violation of all rules of justice and 
even of decency which have been exhibited by the Committee and 
Commission and by individuals who have deemed it their interest to 
attempt to crush me, I therefore avail myself of my official con- 
nexion with the Quartermaster's Department to give to you, its 
chief, a brief history of my transactions and of the persecution to 
which I have been subjected. 

In the early days of the rebellion, Messrs. F. P. Blair, Jr., 
iSamuel T. Glover, James 0. Broadhead, John How, 0. D. Filley, 
and one Witzig, organized themselves as a ^'•Safely Committee,^^ at 
St. Louis. They were utterly ignorant of all that pertains to the 
conduct of military matters, but managed to obtain and assumed 
large control in this department. They made and unmade Generals 
as they pleased, and the frequent changes which occurred in the 
command were in great measure attributable to their influence. 
The shameless interference with the command of General Harney by 
these parties, of which the public has been as yet but partially in- 
formed, exhibits the vicious influence of this "Safety Committee" 
and their supple instruments. They endeavored to dictate to Gen. 
Fremont the course which he was to pursue, and when they found tiiat 
he would not countenance their attempt to direct the administration 
of affairs for which he alone was responsible, they plotted his ruin. 

I was not aware of the existence of the " Safety Committee " 
until a comparatively recent period ; but I now know that I am not 
a little indebted to their machinations for the indignities which liave 
been heaped upon me. In order to break down Gen. Fremont, they 
probably found it necessary to assail me, and to make the assault 
successful they left no mean or cowardly expedient untried. 

The spirit which governed this ^'■Safety Committee^'' was well 
exhibited by Glover, who was the attorney of the Commission to ad- 
just War Claims at St. Louis. I have recently been informed 
that, before he commenced the examination of my transactions, 
he declared publicly that I was a " God damned scoundrel, and 
ought to be shot." P. A. Ladue, Esq., a banker in this city, also 

authorizes me to state, that, after examining him as a witness* 
Glover remarked to the Board in a tone of disappointment, " By 
God ! we can't prove anything against McKinstry." He was evi- 
dently chagrined that he had failed, after having prostituted his 
official position, by using it to further certain political and personal 
designs of himself and associates, without intending or desiring to 
ascertain the truth or to do justice. 

Influences of this nature surrounded the Adjutant General dur- 
ing his visit to the West, and led him to make the positive but un- 
founded assertion in his report to the Secretary of War, that ray 
division was better supplied with transportation than any other in 
General Fremont's army. General Thomas did not see my division, 
and there can be no excuse for his statement if he were not himself 
deceived. I refer to communications numbered from 1 to 6 (inclu- 
sive) in the appendix, to show how untrue the allegation was. 

With the purposes and in the frame of mind above mentioned, 
Mr. Glover undertook to guide the secret workings of a Star-cham. 
bar. He and his comrades found willing coadjutors and tools in the 
Investigating Committee and the Commission. Mr. Washburne, 
while on his way to St. Louis, declared, in the presence of Mr. 
Flanagan, now clerk in the Quartermaster's office at Arlington, Va., 
that he was " after McKinstry." My character was to be blasted, 
and it is not surprising to find that this modern Inquisition heard no 
testimony save that which suited their basely preconceived plans. It 
would strike most persons that I ought to have been called upon for 
explanations, if an honest investigation were intended. To show my 
desire and readiness to have my official conduct thoroughly examin- 
ed, I furnish the following extract from a letter addressed by me, 
while in the field, to Mr. Clements, my chief clerk, as soon as 1 was 
informed that the Van Wyck Committee were at St. Louis. 

"Syracuse, Mo., October 22, 18B1. 
Dear Clements : Do whatever you think proper, and act for me 
and in my name before the Investigating Committee, now in session 
in St. Louis. If you have the opportunity, insist upon tlie most 
rigid examination. You know tlie business has been conducted 
honestly, and with an eye single to the interest of the Government. 
* * * * I shall march to-morrow * * * * 

In haste, yours truly, 


The readiness of Mr. Clements to attend upon that committee, is 
shown by his letters. (Appendix, No. 7, 8 & 9.) That committee, 
however, closed the door upon all fair and impartial investigations. 

Tliey were " after McKinstry," and the sequel shows that they did 
not, for an instant, lose sight of their purpose. 

The officers of the department at Washington evidently thought I 
was entitled to a fair hearing, and intended I should have one ; for 
the Adjutant General sent an order to General Totten, which was 
afterwards turned over to Mr. S. T. Glover, requiring that I should 
be invited to explain to the commission, if I saw fit, " any account 
or transaction that seemed to need it." This order was known to 
the commissioners, but they did not, nor did Mr. Glover, ever call 
on me for any explanations ; nor did they afford me any opportunity 
to rebut any of their so-called proofs, taken ex parte, and in secret. 
Of course I had no reason to suppose that /was on trial before this 
commission which was appointed ostensibly to examine and adjust 
claims upon the Government ; indeed, at the inception of tlieir 
sittings, it was currently reported that the commissioners had stated 
that they had nothing to do with any investigation into my affairs ; 
that they had no control over my books and papers, &c. To show 
their shuffling and double dealing in this matter, as well as to show 
my readiness and desire to have my transactions investigated, (I 
cared not, if fairly done, by whom,) I submit letters from General 
Curtis, the commissioners, Mr. Glover, my counsel Judge Krum, 
and myself. (Appendix, Nos. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 
and 19. > 

It is only surprising to me that, with the means at Mr. Glover's 
hands, he and the committee and commission did not fabricate more 
calumnies than they did ; and I am astonished that, after all their 
labors, their attorney could represent to the Government that I liad 
been guilty of none but the following alleged offenses, viz : 

1. That I paid too much for horses, and could have bought them 
for less. 

2. That horses were offered me at a lower price than f 119, and 
that the owner was compelled to sell them to a contractor, because 
I would not give him an inspector. Similar charges are made 
about mules. 

3. That I paid too much for camp kettles, mess pans, and tents. 

4. That I bought bad shoes. 

5. That I gave an undue price for axes, &c. 

These, I am informed, are all the accusations which Mr. Glover, 
unscrupulous and unprincipled as he is, was able to produce. It 
will be seen that no one of them imputes fraudulent conduct to me, 
but, at the worst, they amount merely to charges of carelessness, or 

want of judgment. A sufficient answer to them would be a com- 
parison between the prices paid by me and those paid by my prede- 
cessors and successors in this market, and by other Quartermasters 
in other markets. And it is a singular fact that the practice pur- 
sued by me, in transacting the business of the Quartermaster's 
department, which has been made tlie theme of so much misrepre- 
sentation and abuse, has been followed by my successor ; and, 
further, I make bold to state, without fear of successful contradic- 
tion, that the vast purchases of army supplies made by me, under 
the most difficult and pressing exigencies of the service, were at 
prices more favorable to the Government than were paid at the same 
time in any other department ; and, that the prices paid by me do 
not, as a general rule, exceed those paid by my successors for army 
supplies furnished to this department under more favorable circum- 
stances. I do not fear to challenge investigation and comparison. 

After all that has occurred, been said and done, and left undone^ 
I shall be excused, I trust, if I go further than at the first blush may 
seem necessary, and notice the more prominent calumnies that have 
been attempted to be heaped upon me by the Van Wyck Committee, 
and the Commission on War Claims. It will be recollected that the 
method of business adopted and pursued by me is made the subject 
of comment in both the reports referred to. It is alleged that I 
violated the law and usages of the Quartermaster's department, by 
making purchases without first advertising ioY proposals. As this is 
the groundwork upon which the greater portion, if not all the ac- 
cusations are based, I will speak of this matter in this connexion. 

I will remark, in the first place, that this method has had the 
sanction of the Government since the commencement of the present 
war. At Washington, at New York, at Philadelphia, at Cincinnati, 
at Louisville, and all other places where large quantities of supplies 
liave been bought, it has been found impossible to procure them in 
any other way ; and, it is another singular fact, that I, of all the 
Quartermasters in the United States, am the only one in whom the 
practice is thought, by these wiseacres, to be reprehensible. Pre- 
vious to the outbreak of the rebellion, St. Louis had not been a 
depot for army supplies. It was a point at which purchases had 
been made, under the orders of the Quartermaster General to fill 
the requisitions of officers at other posts. Timely notice of these 
requisitions was always given, and no injury to the service, or in- 
convenience to the troops, was occasioned by strictly pursuing the 
course of advertising for proposals, and afterwards making con- 

tracts for the articles to be purchased. This was invariably done 
while we had a regularly organized force of a known limit — and, 
under similar circumstances could always be done ; but the circum- 
stances under which I deviated from that course, made the deviation 
necessary, and it was always, cither under express orders, which I 
was bound to obey, or was authorized by the army regulations. 

The President's proclamation of April 15, 18G1, asking for seventy- 
five thousand three months' volunteers, and the subsequent call for 
volunteers for three years, or the war, worked a radical change in 
the character of the business to be transacted in this department, as 
was the case, no doubt, in others. 

A few weeks sufficed to crowd the city and the arsenal with new 
levies, who were entirely unequipped and for whose unexpected ne- 
cessities no preparations had been made. I was destitute of every 
thing required for their use. I could expect little or nothing from 
the East, as the energies of the Government were then taxed to sup- 
ply the wants of the vast army collecting in the District of Columbia 
and Virginia. My quarterly abstract of property for tlie quarter 
ending June 30th, will bear me out in the assertion that on April 
15th, 1861, I had no clothing, camp or garrison equipage on hand, 
and no horses, mules or wagons for the supply of these troops. The 
respective governments of the loyal States aided largely in procuring 
outfits for their own volunteers. In Missouri, this could not be done. 
The State Government was disloyal, and many of its citizens were in 
open rebellion against the Federal authority. To add to the embar- 
rassment, I had no money with which to make purchases, and the 
Government could not go into the market and buy on credit as 
responsible individuals could. I mean tliat small dealers, or even 
large ones, who were compelled to turn their capital over frequent- 
ly, or to be certain of receiving their dues at a fixed time, would not 
sell to the Government on credit ; but the same parties would have 
gladly made time sales to any leading mercantile house of reputed 
solvency. I was not able to assure any one, that I could certainly pay 
him upon any fixed day or in any given month, and without such as- 
surance merchants were generally unwilling to part with their wares. 

For the same reason it was useless to advertise for proposals, 
and often times the " public exigency " (Rev. Regulations § 1048, 
p. 155) would not permit the delay. The credit of tlie Government 
was low and tlie state of the market was such that proposals would 
have been made only by those much abused " middle-men" who 
could raise the means wherewith to buy for cash and wait indefinitely 


for their pay. It seems hardly necessary to remark, that proposals 
under such circumstances would certainly not be as favorable to the 
Government, as bargains which could be made privately with the 
very parties who would become bidders. It certainly appeared to 
me then as it does now, that to employ these men of capital, or who 
could command capital, to step in and aid the Government by mak- 
ing purchases either for cash or on their own credit, and run- 
ning their own risk as to the time of payment, and a possible depre- 
ciation of the public funds, with the promise of a fair mercantile 
profit as their compensation, was the most judicious and economical 
plan to pursue. 

The above remarks apply to a period subsequent to June 30th, 
1861 ; for during the whole quarter ending on that day, I purchased 
nothing but four thousand canteens, four thousand haversacks, eight 
hundred and forty-seven blankets, one hundred and thirty-two com- 
mon tents, four hundred camp kettles, four hundred messpans (the 
two last items by the way were bought of 0. D. Pilley, one of the 
" Committee of Safety,") some axes and other hardware. The 
demand for these things was sudden and pressing ; a day's delay 
would cause suffering or retard operations ; and the " public exigen- 
cy " was such that I would have violated my duty had I not bought 
them as I did. 

I was expecting to receive from the large government depots at 
the east, clothing, camp and garrison equipage and to have prepar- 
ation made for transportation, before General Lyon would move his 
troops. There appeared to be no probability that he would take 
the field until these supplies could be obtained in the ordinary man- 
ner. Gov. Jackson by his declaration of war, on June 12th, 1861, 
caused General Lyon to send Sigel's column to Springfield, and to 
proceed in person with another up the Missouri river, on the 13th 
and 14th of the same month. Their land transportation had to be 
hired, few tents and no clothing had been issued to them, and in 
July, and from that time onward, their requisitions called for such 
immediate attention that there was no time at which the " public 
exigencies " did not demand the purchase of the articles they need- 
ed, as quickly as I could procure them. In July, too, before Gen. 
Fremont's arrival, troops were dispatched, from the city and arsenal, 
to points threatened with danger, at a moment's notice. It invari- 
ably happened, that the first intimation I would receive of a contem- 
plated movement, would be a requisition and order for the instant 
supply of quartermaster's stores. 


I have it in my power to show not only what efforts I made, and 
how cautiously I proceeded, but how strictly I obeyed my orders, 
and how fully my course, in this matter, was sanctioned by my 
superiors. I will call attention to the following copies of letters, 
written prior to July 26, the date of General Frdmont's assumption 

of the command : 

By Telegraph from 
Philadelphia, April 27, 1861. 
To Major J. McKinstry, A. Q. M. 

My orders are to furnish the Militia with such fatigue clothing as can be 
spared. The Militia of this State and others are making clothing for themselves. 
I cannot send you the thousand (1,000) suits of fatigue uniforms at present, 
and cannot say whether I shall be able to do it or not. 

You are hereby authorized to furnish the regular supplies of camp equipage, 
including tents. 

If you have them made in St. Louis write me fully, and telegraph if you can 
procure the camp equipage. 

(Signed,) CHAS. THOMAS, 

A. Q. M. General. 

Assistant Quartermaster's Office ) 
St. Louis, Mo., April 29th, 1861.' \ 

I have the honor to enclose herewith an estimate of funds. Demands are 
daily being made upon me, by the volunteer regiments mustered into service in 
this city and the State of Illinois. 

To enable me to meet them, and in the absence of a precise knowledge of 
what they want, my estimate is general, for so much money. 

If it is decided that I am to to furnish the clothing and camp equipage they 
require, the business would be facilitated by orders to the department in New 
York and Philadelphia to meet promptly my estimates for tent cloth, &c., &c., to 
be sent by express. 

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

To the Quartermaster General, St. Major, A. Q. M. 

U. S. A., Washington, D. C. 

Assistant Quartermaster's Office, ) 
St. Louis, Mo., April 30th, 1861. ) 
Colonel : 

A tent manufacturer here says he alone holds the right to make the 
Sibley tent, and that his prices are the same as those charged in Philadelphia, 
with transportation added. I can make the old army tents at reasonable rates, 
and shall proceed to do so. 

Clothing could be manufactured here by the wives and daughters of volunteers 
in the service, at reasonable rates, provided the materials be sent me, from 


your city or New York. I understand from the Hon. Mr. Blair that he has 
suggested this arrangement to the Secretary of War. If the pressure upon the 
department at Philadelphia is too great, to enable it to meet the wants of this 
department, and if the above arrangement meets your approval, I can get to 
work immediately upon the receipt of the first consignment of cloth. 

I am. Colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Col. Chas. Thomas, A. Q. M. General, Bvt. Major, A. Q. M. 

U. S, A., Philadelphia, Pa. 

Assistant Quartermaster's Office, ) 
St. Louis, Mo., May Ist, 1861. ) 
Colonel : 

The following is a copy of a telegram sent you to-day. " Will you send 
me, by express, cloth sufficient to manufacture 1,000 suits of fatigue clothing, 
and also tent cloth sufficient for 500 common tents." 

In explanation of the above, it is proper that I should say to you that the 
volunteers mustered in the service here are all from this city, and all poor men. 
Unlike other States, no enthusiasm or popular feeling on the side of the Govern- 
ment has been awakened, leading people to subscribe money in aid of the 
volunteers; hence it becomes important that the Government should aid them 
promptly, with the allowance they are entitled to under the law. 

If you can furnish the cloth, I can clothe them at prices approximating, very 
closely, to the Philadelphia standard; and its making up will materially aid the 
wives and families of the volunteers, whom I propose to employ. 

I am, Colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Col. Chas. Thomas, A. Q. M. G., Bt. Major, A. Q. M. 

U. S. A,, Philadelphia, Pa. 

Assistant Quartermaster's Office, 
Major : St. Louis, Mo., May 2Gth, 1861. 

I have the honor to enclose herewith an estimate of funds required at 
this station. The large number of troops (10,000 men) stationed here, require, 
as you are aware, large amounts of supplies, and, in the present depressed state 
of business affairs, they can be purchased for cash far below the market. 
The difference of exchange between this city and New York is 15 per cent. 
If I have to purchase the supplies required on credit, an additional 10 per 
cent, will have to be added. So you will readily perceive the advantage to the 
Government in purchasing for cash. 

I am. Major, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Major E. Sibley, Acting Q. M. General, A. Q. M, 

U. S. A., Washington City, D. C. 

Quartermaster General's Office, } 

Sir : Washington, D. C, June 4, 1861. ) 

There were at Fort Ripley, on the 30th of April last, 178 mules, 
7 oxen, 37 wagons, and 2 ambulances, which, with the exception of the means 


of transportation authorized by General Orders No. 13, War Department, June 
17th, 1859, are available for the use of the troops, if required at St. Louis, or 
if not, for the forces further south. 

You will please order them to St. Louis, to be disposed of as the Com- 
manding General may direct. 

You are authorized, without reference to this office, under his direction, 
to procure such means of transportation as he may deem necessary, practising a 
sound economy in making your purchases, and if the exigency is not immediate 
or pressing, conforming to the laAV and regulations in relation to the manner 
of making purchases and contracts for supplies. 

Ambulances and transport carts will, probably, also be required, especially 
in the event of a forward movement of the troops. If such be the case, please 
advise me, and I will, as soon as it can be done, send you one of each kind of 
ambulance designated in General Orders, No. 1, January 19th, 18C0, to be used 
in the public service, as models from which others can be manufactured in St. 
Louis. In the meantime, if they should be wanted, you will, of course, for tem- 
porary purposes, hire such spring cai'riages as may be necessary. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Act. Qr. M. Gen. A. L 

Bvt. Major J. McKinstrt, 

Asst. Qr. Mr. U. S. A., St. Louis, Mo. 

Quartermaster General's Office, } 

Washington City, June 25, 18G1. ' 
Major J. McKiNSTBY, Quartermaster, St. Louis, Mo. 
Your letter of the 18th, enclosing correspondence with Adjutant General 
Harding, is received. 

The Department approves your course, as shown in these letters, but desires, 
that while economy is right, there be no room left for charging the failure of 
any military movement upon a want of promptness and eificiency in the Quar- 
termaster's Department. 

Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

(Signed,) M. 0. MEIGS, 

Quartermaster General. 

Assistant Quartermaster's Office, ) 

St. Louis, Mo., June 26, 1861. ) 
General : 
I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of a copy of your telegram of the 
18th inst., (the telegraphic despatch was not received,) instructing me to sup- 
port General Lyon's movements by all necessarj^ aid from this Department, and 
to advise, &c., in order that collision may be avoided, and improper orders, 
through inexperience, be prevented. 

The course therein indicated I have, from the first, considered it my duty to 


pursue. Nothing has been neglected that could be done, without exceeding the 
power given me. 

But you will readily understand, that in so hastily an organized force as 
that here collected, and officered, to a great extent, by men who do not under- 
stand the necessary regulations that govern the business of this Department, 
some confused ideas exist among them. And it is not strange, that attempts to 
instruct them in the regulations of the Department are often mistaken for oppo- 
sition, and furnish groundless cause of complaint. 

My regard for the interest of the Department, and for my instructions, de- 
mand that I should require of them that the business of this office should be 
done in a proper manner, and in strict conformity with the regulations, leaving 
responsibilities to be assumed by those who create them. 
I am. General, very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 


Bvt. Majvr, A. Q. M. 
Brig. Gen. M. C. Meigs, 

Q. M. G., U. S. A., Washington, D. C. 

Assistant Quartermaster's Office, ) 

St. Louts, Mo., June 20, 1861. ) 
Colonel : 

I enclose herewith, for your information, a copy of a communication 
received from the Quartermaster General, and have to state that you will find 
me at all times anxious and willing to aid, to the best of my ability, any line of 
policy the authorities have decided upon pursuing. In the absence of any offi- 
cer of my Department that can be assigned to duty at the Arsenal I shall keep 
there an experienced clerk to act as my agent. 

Requisitions and wants made known to this office will receive prompt 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


Bvt. Major and A. Q. M. 

Col. Chester Harding, 
Act. Assist. Adj. Gen,, Arsenal, St. Louis, Mo. 

By Telegraph from 
Wasuington, June 29, 1861. 
To Major J. McKinstry : 

Your telegraph of the 28tb in relation to transportation 
wagons, mules or horses, for two light batteries, ten companies of cavalry, and 
five regiments of infantry, at Cairo, is received. Fill Gen. McClcllan's requisi- 
tions as soon as possible. 


Q. M. General. 


By Telegi'aph from 
Grafton, Va., Juni 28, 1861. 
To Major J. McKinstry : 

Please provide, at earliest possible day, wagons and 
mules, or horses, for two light batteries, two companies of cavalry and five 
regiments of infantry, at Cairo. 

(Signed,) G. B. McCLELLAN, 

Maj. Gen. U. S. A. 

By Telegraph from 
Washington, July 6, 1861. 
To Bvt. Maj. Gen. McKinstry, A. Q. M. : 

Procure and send to Rolla, Missouri, as 
many wagons and teams as may be required to transport supplies from that place 
to Springfield, for General Lyon's command. Consult Assistant Adjutant Gene- 
ral Harding as to the number that will be necessary, and spare no exertions to 
forward them at once. Make arrangements also to supply the animals with 
forage, at Rolla, and while employed in transporting supplies to Springfield, 
funds will be immediately forwarded to you. 


Q. M. General. 

Arsenal, St. Louis, July 11, 1861. 
Major : 

I wrote to Frank Blair asking him to see the Secretary of War and Chief 
of Ordinance about furnishing horses for Buell's battery, which is needed imme- 
diately. He answers : "In regard to the purchase of hoi'ses for Buell's battery, 
the Secretary and Quartermaster General inform me that ample authority has 
been sent to the Quartermaster at St. Louis to buy anything and everything that 
is needed for the equipment and transportation of the troops in Missouri, without 
reference to the Department here, but upon the simple requisition of the Com- 
mander of the troops in Missouri. I am authorized by the Department to say, 
that if wagons or horses or anything else is wanted, that the Commander of the 
troops has only to make requisitions and it will be instantly complied with. If 
you will show this note to McKinstry I am very certain you will have no 

Does not this leave artillery horses in the same category as before ? Or would 
you conceive this to be authority to pass the ordnance by, and buy as Quarter- 
master ? 

I called to see you, and would bo much obliged if you would give me your ad- 
vice and opinion on the subject. 

Very respectfully, 

Major J. McKinstry, U. S. A. C HARDING, Jr. 

It was not my desire to purchase without advertising for proposals, 
in any instance ; and, until General Fremont's arrival, I did so only 
to the limited extent and under the circumstances above mentioned. 


After he assumed the command, the operations of the department 
became immensely large, and the public exigencies, as a conse- 
quence, were more imperative. 

He soon collected a force that was enormous in comparison with 
the resources of the Department. He had in his Department about 
eighty thousand troops. The necessity of purchasing, without ad- 
vertisement, whenever and wherever supplies could be obtained, now 
became constant, and was recognized, not only by the Commanding 
General, but by the highest military authorities in the land, and was 
in accordance with paragraph 10-18 of the Regulations above refer- 
red to and here copied : 

" When immediate delivery or performance is required by the pub- 
lic exigency, the article or service required may be procured by open 
purchase or contract, at the places and in the mode in which such 
articles are usually bought and sold, or such services engaged, be- 
tween individuals." 

On the 29th July, 1861, I was ordered to have at command, 
" during the next fortnight," clothing, camp and garrison equipage 
for twenty-three regiments of Infantry, three regiments of Cavalry, 
and one regiment of Artillery. On the same day, I was directed to 
purchase five hundred sets of cavalry equipments for "to-morrow." 
August 20th, I was ordered to purchase, in this city, and have 
ready to forward at once, clothing for six thousand men. August 
21st, to purchase one thousand pants and the same number of jack- 
ets. September 4th, to contract for not less than one thousand wag- 
ons and the mules required for them, with the least possible delay. 
(See Appendix, Nos. 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28.) 

When I received the first order, I telegraphed to the Quartermas- 
ter General in regard to the matter, and received a reply, in sub- 
stance, that impossibilities could not be performed, and that the De- 
partment could not fill the requisition in tlie time named. General 
Fremont thereupon directed me to take immediate steps to furnish 
the articles called for, in the most expeditious manner. 

In addition to the condition of the public credit, and of the 
market, and of the " public exigencies," and peremptory orders 
which forbade the delay incurred by advertising, there was another 
cause operating to render the usual course out of the question. 

It was the policy of the Government, and I was so instructed, 
to exclude all but men of known loyalty from the benefits of Gov- 
ernment business. In a community like this, where a large part of 
the mercantile class was accused of entertaining disloyal sentiments, 
this policy, the wisdom of which has never been doubted, imposed 


still further restriction upon competition ; and political cormorants 
did not hesitate to take advantage of these embarrassments to direct 
those benelits into their own pockets or the purses of their friends, 
so far as they had the power to do so. 

Notwithstanding all this, I made purchases and contracts with- 
out advertising only when the necessity for the supplies was appa- 
rent and pressing, or when acting under the orders of the Command- 
ing General. 

The Commission on War Claims, in their perverse and apparent- 
ly pre-determincd anxiety to find something against me, have charac- 
teristically assumed that in these matters I acted upon my own re- 
sponsibility, and of my own mere impulse and whim. The assump- 
tion is, of course, false ; and had they inquired of me, as they were 
ordered to do, or of my clerks, any explanation on the subject, they 
would have learned the fact that, do the best I could, I was not able 
to keep up with the peremptory orders which came to me from the 
Department Headquarters, to purchase or contract for the horses, 
mules, wagons, clothing, &c., which were needed, and always needed 
on the instant, for use in the army. 

If the Board desire to know the effect of such orders, even if ille- 
gally issued, I refer them to Major Robert Allen's testimony, in the 
report of their co-laborers of the Congressional Investigating Com- 
mittee, pp. 79 and following. 

As examples of the extent of the demands upon me, and the 
promptness with which they were expected to be furnished, I cite the 
letters in the Appendix, marked from 20 to 28, inclusive ; and, as 
one instance of the difficulty of obtaining, in large amounts, the re- 
quisite supplies, I refer to the dispatch of the Assistant Quartermas- 
ter General above set out, and to those of Captains Dickerson and 
Turnley in the Appendix, Nos. 29 and 30. 

The manner in which the Quartermaster's business was done in 
this Department had been unavoidably adopted elsewhere ; and even 
now, (as I have already stated,) when my successor has a large corps 
of Assistant Quartermasters and competent and experienced clerks, 
drawn from all parts of the country, at increased salaries, to aid him, 
and when the chief business is not to equip an immense army from 
the ground up, but merely to make good the losses and destruction 
of property occasioned by the casualties of war, the same method is, 
and must be, pursued. I am happy to be able to show by the letters 
of the President and Secretary of War tliat they were aware of, and 
gave countenance to, the course pursued by me. 


" TVAsniNGTON, September 10, 1861. 
J. McKiNSTRY, Brigadier General and Quartermaster, St. Louis : 

Permit me to introduce James L. Lamb, Esq., of Springfield, Illinois. 
I have known Mr. Lamb for a great many years. His reputation for integrity 
and ability to carry out his engagements are both unquestioned, and I shall be 
pleased, if consistent with the public good, that you will make purchases of him 
of any army supplies needed in your Department. 

Your obedient servant, 


"Washington, September 9, 1861. 
J. McKiNSTRY, Brigadier General and Quartermaster, St. Louis : 
The bearer of this, James L. Lamb, Esq., of Springfield, Illinois, is the per- 
sonal friend of the President, as well as my own. He is a gentleman of integ- 
rity and business capacity, and any engagement entered into will, no doubt, be 
faithfully carried out. As Illinois is bearing her burthen of the war, both in 
furnishing men and means, it is the desire of the Administration that the citi- 
zens of that State should have a fair share of the Government patronage dis- 
pensed in your Department. If you can do anything for Mr. Lamb, in purchas- 
ing supplies, you will oblige, provided he will make his prices suit yoii. 

Your obedient servant, 


Secretary of War." 
I refer, also, to the letters of a military gentleman, whose extensive 
service in the artillery, must have given him an intimate acquaintance 
with the "rules and regulations governing the army." I mean Col- 
onel, the Hon. F. P. Blair, Jr. These letters will be found in the 
Appendix, marked from 31 to 36, inclusive. See, also, letters from 
Ben. Farrar, Esq., United States Assistant Treasurer at St, Louis, to 
Hon. M. Blair, and to Colonel Blair, (Appendix, No. 37 and 38,) and 
the letter of the Hon. James S. Rollins, M. C, (Appendix, No. 39.) 
Major Rollins' letter throws some light upon the subject of the 
" Haskell" contract, and shows that, sometimes private parties 
engaged the services of middle men. I append a telegram and two 
letters from Brigadier General Thomas L. Price, M. C, touching the 
furnishing of mules. (Appendix, No. 40, 41 and 42.) 

I have said thus much as to the system of contracts and purchases 
pursued by me, in common with Quartermasters at other points, and 
by my successor, because, as I have before said, I deem it the ground 
work of nearly all the attacks contained in the two reports. I trust 
that I have satisfactorily shown that I am upheld by the regulations 
and by my instructions and orders. I close this branch of the case 
by referring to your own express approval of my conduct, after you 
had given to it a personal examination, while you were in this city, 


in September last. You did me the honor to state that I had evinc- 
ed ability, energy and economy. 

I will now pay attention to the complaints of the Committee and 
Commission that ^^ 7nidcUe mcri" were allowed contracts. The logic 
of the two distinguished Boards would restrict Quartermasters to 
dealing with producers and manufacturers only. However pressing 
the public emergency, the Quartermaster of this Department must 
not (unless at the risk of being censured and maligned) buy cloth- 
ing, &c., of those who kept the articles for sale or could furnish them, 
(but were not manufacturers,) because, forsooth, they would make 
a profit on their sales to the Government! Any one of common 
sense would naturally conclude that the question with every Quar- 
termaster would be, what are the most favorable terms the required 
article can be obtained for ? If supplies could be obtained of " mid- 
dle men" at lower rates than of manufacturers, the duty of a Quar- 
termaster would be very plain; and even if at no better rates, the 
Government would sustain no injury by buying of " middle men," 

The veri/ sagacious Committee and Commission assume what was 
not the case, viz : that I could have purchased of manufacturers in this 
Department on more favorable terms than I did of parties who furnisli. 
ed supplies. In this assumption they exliibit their utter ignorance of 
the kind and extent of the manufacturing interests in St. Lonis. If 
these closeted fault-finders had taken the trouble to examine the 
vouchers and bills that were before them, they would have noticed a 
long list of articles, costing in the aggregate, immense sums of mo. 
ney, not one of which is manufactured in St. Louis ; and of many of 
the articles that are manufactured here probably not one-tenth of 
the quantity required could have been furnished in time. Further 
comment is unnecessary. The oft-repeated story of the '■'■middle men'^ 
is mere tivaddle, and unworthy of serious refutation. Any one at all 
familiar with the course of business or the practice of the Govern- 
ment must see that the learned Commission, in their dissertation on 
" middle men,^^ have " strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel." 

Let us suppose a case. If a General commanding a Department 
should deem i: necessary to move his army immediately/, and should 
order the purchase of an immense number of horses and mules, the 
Quartermaster, according to the sage opinions expressed in the two 
reports, must first advertise for proposals, and reject all bids except 
those of " farmers and small dealers in the country," (Report, 8;) 
or, if he did not advertise he should await tlie chance arrival of the 
farmer with his five or ten head of stock. And, however anxious 


the faithful Quartermaster may be to fill the order with tlie least 
possible delay, to meet the public exigency, yet he must not deal 
with men who have the means and facilities to go through a widely 
extended country and procure the animals needed ! 

The path marked out by the Committee and Commission would be 
easy to follow if immense numbers of men, suddenly called to the 
field, did not require horses, mules, clothing, cooking utensils, tents 
and the like, or if the enemy would postpone his operations until we 
had accumulated all the transportation we required by the means in- 

And it is singular, taken in this connexion, that the Commission 
should Jiave objected to my purchasing clothing of R. Keiler & Co. 
on the ground that they were retail dealers in the articles. It is un- 
true, in fact, that R. Keiler & Co. were retail dealers, in the sense 
which the committee intend the assertion to be understood. They 
do custom work, but, as is well known in St. Louis, they manufac- 
ture clothing and supply it to other dealers, in large quantities. 

The Board call S. P. Brady, a commission and forwarding mer- 
chant, one of the most " marked of the ' middle men,' " and " allow- 
ed him no profit whatever," because he was not " a dealer in any of 
the articles furnished by him to the Government," although, they 
add, " It is but justice to Mr. Brady to state that the per centages 
charged by him to the Government were much more moderate than 
those of any other middle man that came under our notice." Was 
not John How, leather manufacturer and dealer, a middle man, by 
the same rule which was applied to Child, Pratt & Fox, hardware 
dealers? Was it any more in his "line of business" to furnish 
overcoats than it was in theirs to supply canteens and knapsacks ? 
Were not half the persons whose claims passed the commission with- 
out objection, " middle men" ? Most simple people would say that 
Mr. How ought to have been compelled to relinquish his profits on 
his sales of articles in which he did not deal, if Mr. Brady and Child, 
Pratt & Fox could be allowed none for similar sales. 

The Commission didn't see it in that light, however, but while 
they would not allow Mr. Brady, and Childs, Pratt & Fox anything for 
their labor and capital, they passed Mr. How's claim without question 
and without requiring the Quartermaster's certificate to it ! To show 
the glaring inconsistency of the Commission, allow me to state the 
facts : Mr. How obtained |10 50 for his overcoats. Brady, in his 
claim, demanded but 19 50 for the same article, delivered at about 
the same time. It must be borne in mind, too, that Mr. Brady fur- 


nislied overcoats at a period when our troops greatly needed them 
and the market could not supply the demand ; that both he, Child, 
Pratt & Fox, Mr. How, and other " middle men," invested their 
money or credit in providing the Government with these things when 
the latter had very little of either money or credit to spare in 
St. Louis. It was fortunate that the Government found " middle 
men," — capitalists — who could wait for payment. Its credit was not 
at that time available, and it was not until Child, Pratt & Fox, 
Pomeroy & Benton, and one or two other concerns, evinced their 
faith in the solvency of the national treasury, that other leading 
merchants in St. Louis would take the risk of making sales. 

There was one objection to Mr. Brady's claim, which appears on 
the face of the report, " he was an old friend and favorite of Mc- 
Kinstry." That settled him. 

There was one merit which Mr. How's claim had, but which the 
Commissioners omit to state. Mr. How had parted with his interest 
m it, having assigned it to the firm of R. Campbell & Co., of which 
concern Hugh Campbell (one of the Commissioners) was a member. 
This, doubtless, insured its passage without reduction. 

I shall not refer to the Brady matter again, but call attention to 
his affidavit (Appendix 45), and to that of Mr. Mandelbaum (Ap. 
pendix 46.) The President and Secretary of War, in their letters 
copied above, seem to think that an unquestionable reputation for 
integrity and ability to carry out his engagements is sufficient war- 
rant for a Quartermaster to deal with the man who possesses it. I 
supposed so too, and when, as I have already shown, the Government 
had neither the credit nor the money to buy with as responsible indi- 
viduals could, of men of small means, I considered it a lucky cir- 
cumstance to find individuals and firms of unquestionable reputa- 
tion for integrity and ability to carry out their engagements, who 
were willing to buy and collect together the materials of war and 
sell them to the Government with no other condition than that, for 
their trouble and the use of their skill, judgment and capital, they 
should receive a " fair mercantile profit," when Government was 
ready to pay them. I found many such individuals and firms in 
St. Louis, and have dealt with them, under circumstances requiring 
it. The Commission, however, single out a few by name and try to 
create the impression that these did all the business to the exclusion 
of others, and that all the business they did was done with me. It 
was known to them that I, also, bought largely of Field Brothers, 
J. B. Sickles & Co., Corbet & Kuhn, Warne, Cheever & Co., 


Pomeroy, Benton & Co., and other leading houses, while of the 
claims presented by the individuals and firms mentioned by the 
Commission, a large number were created during tlie administration 
of my successors. For instance : I bought of R, Keiler & Co., goods 
to the amount of $77,100 85 ; Captain Rankin 1270,410 23 ; Major 
Allen $69,422 75. Evidence of this was before the Commission. 
They seized Keiler & Co.'s books and papers, and besides the proof 
they afforded, the fact was testified to by witnesses. Yet, in their 
unscrupulous zeal, they suppress the truth and render themselves 
morally guilty of perjury in order to injure me. 

Before I was aware of Mr. How's position as one of the Safety 
Committee, I had made considerable purchases of him. He was not 
averse to an increase of these dealings, as appears by the proposition 
of himself and Mr. Gurnee contained in Appendix No. 48. The 
proposal was not accepted. It may be that the rejection of the offer 
had something to do with the subsequent course of Mr. How and his 
friends upon the " Committee," and if I had given him the desired 
contract, probably the country would not have heard so much about 
" middle men " and " go-betweens." 

I append my answer to Messrs. How and Gurnee's proposition. 
(No. 49.) It will be seen that I therein expressed my views in 
regard to the propriety of entering into such contracts. These would- 
be contractors applied to Gen. Fremont to order me to comply with 
their wishes, and, had they succeeded in procuring such an order, I 
would have obeyed it, as I did in other cases. The General did not 
see fit to oblige them, in the premises, and the contract was never 
entered into. How much this disappointment affected the subsequent 
course of Mr. How and the Chicago Tribune, in which last named 
concern Mr. Gurnee is said to be a stockholder, I leave for others to 

The Commission seized the books, papers and correspondence of 
Child, Pratt & Fox likewise, and they knew when they signed their 
report that Captain Rankin, Major Allen, and other parties, had con- 
tinued to buy of them after I ceased to have control. Why did they 
not censure them ? Of the claims of Child, Pratt & Fox, before the 
Commission, the following is a statement, viz : 

Purchases made by me , $374,573 67 

" « " Captain Rankin 140,827 08 

" " " Major Allen , 29,125 39 

" « " other parties 5,281 61 


Yet the Committee and Commission strive to make it appear that 
the corrnption of this firm was so marked that no one but me, who 
was an accomplice, would have anything to do with them. As an- 
other instance of the sort of justice which was meted out by the 
Commission, I will mention that Child, Pratt & Fox bought, in Au- 
gust, 1861, for cash, of R. Campbell & Co., (of which firm Hugh 
Campbell, one of the Commissioners, was a partner) — 

82 blankets at $6 50 per pair. 

23 " at 5 50" " 

257 « at 8 00 " « 

These blankets were bought for the Government and were turned 
over to me. The credulous " middle men" believed that upon pro- 
ducing the original invoices of R. Campbell &, Co. they could at least 
obtain the cost price of articles which they had paid for months be- 
fore, inasmuch as there was a gentleman on the Commission who 
must know that the prices were fair and reasonable, and the goods of 
fair quality. They were mistaken, however. Mr. Hugh Campbell, 
merchant, and Mr. Hugh Campbell, commissioner, were two distinct 
characters. He sold blankets at $S in the one capacity, but in the 
other he couldn't persuade his conscience to allow the Government 
to pay more than $4 33|^, and at that rate the claim of Child, Pratt 
& Fox was adjusted. 

At another place in this communication, I shall take occasion to 
notice the remarks of the Commissioners touching Mr. Fox's alleged 
agency in my being retained at this post as Quartermaster. I will 
now simply state that I never knew the firm of Child, Pratt & Fox, 
or any member of it, until I was assigned to duty in this city. I be- 
came acquainted with them, and more particularly with their junior 
partner, Mr. Fox, in consequence of their having always been the 
lowest bidder for hardware, when I had occasion to advertise for pro- 
posals ; and, as I have before remarked, I never made purchases ex- 
cept upon advertisement, prior to the commencement of the war. 
The house certainly had a high standing in St. Louis — none had a 
better reputation, so far as I know. 

I was not anxious to deal with R. Keiler & Co., as appears by my 
letter to Captain Littler. (Appendix, 51.) They were not only 
large manufacturers but dealt extensively in clotliing, both at whole- 
sale and retail, and I am aware of no reason why I should not have 
bought from them such articles as they could furnish and the troops 


The experience and business qualifications of S. P. Brady appear 
from his own history of himself, and his high position and irreproach- 
abh^ cliaracter arc made manifest l)y the certificates of the lion. 
Lewis Cass and Judge Ross Wilkins. 

''Jim Neill" was a stranger to me until Frank P. BUiir, Jr., intro- 
duced him to me as his " personal friend," and a " sound Union 
man." Mr. Blair, also, recommended J. 11. Bowen and (Uiarles M. 
Ellcard. In fact, the Representative of the St. Louis District sent 
more applicants to me than any otiior ten men in the country. 

J. S. Pease is stated by the Committee and Commission to be a 
'• brothcr-indaw" of mine. Tlioy knew ))cttcr, for it was in prool' 
liefore thorn that he is not co)inected witli me by blood or marriage : 
and that I had no acquaintance witli him until 1 was stationed Iipre. 
He, too, was a respectal)le commission merchant, in good repute. 

Xow, I ask, if in the avalanche of business wliicli came upon me, 
it became necessary, not only to find men who had the means to as- 
sist the (Tovernment in its time of need, but in whom I could confide 
to aid mo in doing tliat which no mortal man could accomplish alone, 
why should 1 not have placed faitli in the persons and firms alluded 
to? If, in any instance, 1 liavc been deceived, and tlic Government 
luis been defrauded, (which I deny,) I can only say that I exercised 
all the caution and judgment wliich T could have used to prevent 
such an occurrence. 

Perhaps I should not have })laccd trust in Mr. Blair's '' personal 
friends ; " but, if the good names which the merchants with whom I 
dealt had acquired in the community furnished no grounds for reli- 
ance upon their integrity, I am at a loss to know what rule could 
have guided mo. The frauds so freely charged by the Committee 
and Commission, against a few individuals and firms, it will be ob- 
served, necessarily implicate a large number of merchants, manu- 
facturers and traders, who, previous to these reports, enjoyed the 
reputation of l)cing honest men. It is not my province to undertake 
their defence, and I shall leave the injured parties to see to it 

As far as the charges or insinuations that I was in any way inter 
ested with the " middle men" are concerned, I reply that they are 
false in every particular. There was no testimony before the Com- 
mittee or Commission tending to show any such thing. Even Glov- 
er can't screw his courage to the point of making such a charge. 
It was reserved to a committee, whose chairman was turned out of 
the War Office for making dishonorable proposals to the Secretary, 


and has since been arrested by General McClellan for appropriating 
property of the Government to himself and his regiment, and to n 
set of commissioners, led by a tricky and unscrupulous lawyer, to 
manufacture these accusations out of whole cloth. I append seve- 
ral affidavits relating to this subject, although the absence of cveiy 
thing like proof to show guilty conduct on my part would seem to 
render such exhibits unnecessary. 

A still more unfounded and reckless statement of the Committee 
is found on page 113 of Report. In speaking of the service of plate 
presented to JMrs. McKinstry, the Committee say : " Contractors 
were told by those soliciting contributions that if they did not con- 
tribute they would have trouble in collecting their dues from the 
Government." To uphold this statement, they garble and falsely 
report the testimony of Almon Thompson, as will be seen by his 
affidavit, (Appendix, No. 75.) 

The presentation was made after I had ceased to be Quartermaster, 
and within a few hours of my departure for Memphis. The inscrip- 
tion on the plate shows that it was a token of regard for my services 
as Provost Marshal. To show the character of the contributors, and 
the motives that influenced them, I refer to tlie testimony of J. ]>. 
Eads, Esq., p. 958. 

Having disposed of the objections that 1 bought without advertis- 
ing for proposals, and that I dealt with " middle men," I will notice 
some of the specifications found in both reports. It is strange tliat with 
the same testimony before them, their distortions and perversions of 
testimony should have led the Committee and Commission to such 
different results ; but I presume that it is difficult for two sets of 
people not acting in concert, to make up tlie same falsehoods, even 
though they have a common purpose. 1 regret their want of harmo- 
ny, for it compels me to notice their reports separately. I will first 
take up that of the Committee of Investigation. 

Upon pages 52 and 53 will be found copied an order wliich I gave 
to Livingston, Bell & Co., of New York, for clothing. It appears 
sufficiently from the letters and instructions above set out, that I had 
the authority to give this order, and that the "public exigency" de- 
manded it. I call attention to it for one i)ur})0se only, that is, to 
have it noted how carefully unreasonable prices were guarded against. 
It is provided in the order that " the cost of manufacture, material 
and transportation" should be furnished, and that the Quartermas- 
ter would allow them "a fair mercantile profit " thereupon. The 
result has shown that by this means the Government obtained a 


quantity of good clothing at prices lower than has generally been 
paid for similar articles in this or any other Department. 

At page 82 the Committee state that they " found that the most 
astounding and unblushing frauds had been perpetrated in the pur- 
chase of horses and mules, made by the Quartermaster's department ; 
and the evidence left no doubt on their minds that the Quartermas- 
ter himself was in collusion with corrupt and unprincipled men who 
combined together to swindle the Government. In these purchases, 
fraud was perpetrated in every possible way. In the first place, mat- 
ters were so arranged that it was impossible for the original owners 
to sell horses or mules directly to the Government, but all such 
sales were made by certain middle men and go-betweens, who, it 
appears, alone could get any horses or mules taken by the Quarter- 
master's department." 

This extraordinary charge deserves but one reply : it is a 7nali- 
cious and deliberate falsehood. There is nothing even in the report- 
ed testimony to justify the conclusion of the Committee ; but, in re- 
porting the testimony, they suppressed the statements of some wit- 
nesses, and garbled and perverted those of others, in the hope that 
careless readers would be misled. The Committee state truly that 
$119 was fixed as the maximum price for horses and mules, but it 
is not true that $150 was fixed as the price of artillery horses. I 
will explain how this standard came to be adopted. After having 
advertised for proposals to furnish animals of the above description, 
the various bids were opened on the 4th of July, 1861. It had pre- 
viously been intimated to me, (and the bids seemed to confirm the 
intimation,) that the " legitimate dealers" had made a combination 
to keep up the prices. 

T. T. January proposed to furnish cavalry horses at $125 ; James 
Ashbrook required $125 for mules ; Thornton & Pierce, and Law- 
rence Matthews claimed $125 for horses and $130 for mules ; James 
B. Neill (Blair's "personal friend," "Jim NeiU") demanded $130 
for cavalry horses ; J. H. Bowen's price was $119 for horses and 
mules, while that of Asa S. Jones was $119 50. The original bids 
are on file in the office of the Quartermaster General. Bowen's bid 
was the lowest, and was as low as horses and mules of the required 
standard could be furnished to me in this city, and much lower than 
had been previously paid. The contract was awarded to Bowen and 
Jones at $119 per head. They were not " legitimate dealers" any 
more than How or other dealers of that class, but were still able to col- 


lect and bring to me all the animals specified in their contract, at a 
Considerably lower cost than tlie " horse men" considered reasonable. 

I do not know how much the contractors paid to the farmers and 
stock raisers, but I do know that $85, $105, $108 and |110 per head 
(if they did, in fact, procure their horses and mules for those prices) 
at the farm yards in the interior, left no magnificent margin by the 
time the animals were inspected and accepted in this city. The 
Committee strive to create the impression that, because the " original 
owner" was content to take less than <f)119 at the gate of his own 
stock yard, no allowance should be made for the expense of feeding 
and transporting the animals to the city, and that the services of the 
" go-betweens," in collecting here a horse and there a mule, until 
they had filled their contract, were not worthy of compensation ! 
Why, if I had hired and sent to the country enough Quartermaster's 
agents to buy and bring in the number of horses and mules required? 
within the eight days which were given to Bowen and Jones for com- 
pleting their undertaking, the actual cost to the Government would 
have been fully up to, if it did not exceed, the figures determined 
upon by the "legitimate dealers." The contract was entered 
into in quadruplicate, duplicates of which were sent to the 
Quartermaster General, with full information as to the circumstances 
under which it was made. The price was lower than the 
Government was then paying in Washington ; and as I never 
heard that any objection was made by my superiors to my 
action in the premises, I take it for granted that it met with their 
approval. From the paper itself (Appendix, No. 52) it will be seen 
that $119 was the price agreed upon for cavalry and artillery horses 
and for mules. 

After this contract was made, I had no occasion to purchase horses 
until I was ordered to do so by General Fremont, Department Com- 
mander. I subsequently purchased animals without advertising, 
and to avoid combinations which I feared, I let it be generally known 
that I would pay $119, and no more, for horses and mules which 
could pass inspection. Bowen and Jones had been able to furnish 
them at that price, and judging from what I knew of the market, 
as well as from the offers of " legitimate dealers," I was then confi- 
dent, and am now certain, that the Government could not have been 
supplied at a lower average rate. 

It is true that I paid $150 per head for some artillery horses, fur- 
nished to General Lyon by Messrs. Harkness and Giles F. Filley, 
for the First Regiment of Missouri Artillery. Upon the represen- 


tations of Col. Blair, and at his solicitation, Gen. Fremont authorized 
me to pay $150 each for artillery horses. . After this was done, Col. 
Blair, as may be seen, (Appendix, No. 38,) aided '■'■ husted-np''' John 
Farrar in obtaining a contract to furnish artillery horses at that 
price. I, however, had nothing to do with determining these prices, 
and only paid them upon the express orders of Generals Lyon and 
Fremont to do so. The men who pocketed $150 each for horses, 
Harkness and Filley, are the same men who figure largely as tale 
bearers before the Committee and Commission. They will receive 
proper notice hereafter. 

The heaviest orders to purchase horses and mules (for instance 
that to Mr. L. Haskell, who, it appears, was merely acting for others) 
did not emanate frjm me. I had nothing to do with them, further 
than to have the animals inspect jd, and to give vouchers for them, 
if they were accepted. At the same time, however, the amount 
which I had fiixed, upon the basis of the Bowen bid, still controlled, 
and has saved the Government a large sum which would otherwise 
have found its way into the pockets of the "legitimate dealers," such 
as How & Co. In confirmation of this, I mention that it was proved 
before the Commissioners that a lot of mules offered for inspection 
under the Haskell contract, and rejected, were afterwards, and after 
I ceased to act as Quartermaster, sold to the Government at an in- 
creased price of %1 each. 

"But" say the Van Wyck Committee, " the fraud in the manner 
of purchase was only one of a series of frauds in that connexion. 
There was fraud in the inspection. By the indulgence of a ' gener- 
ous confidence' the favored individual, who had the good fortune to 
have the right kind of authority to buy horses for the Government, 
either inspected himself or was permitted to select his own inspector, 
which, of course, resulted in a corrupt inspection." 

This charge is utterly and basely false. There was no credible 
testimony before the Committee which gives an apology for making- 
it. Upon the files of the Quartermaster General is the name 
of every inspector employed by me ; and the Committee were also 
furnisned with a list of all the inspectors, verified by tlie affidavit of 
my chief clerk. No one of tliem was interested in any contract, 
so far as 1 know ; yet, even if it were shown that some of the 
persons employed as inspectors were dishonest, on what ground 
can I be charged with complicity in their rascality ? It is amaz- 
ing, that, without proof, tlie Committee accuse me of such con- 
duct. The same witnesses who state that I allowed " Jim Neill" to 


inspect his own horses, discredit their own testimony by swearing to 
a foolish untruth in respect to branding horses. The Committee, 
instead of disbelieving the evidence on this subject, found another 
charge upon it, as follows : 

" There was also fraud in branding horses. For instance, a horse 
would be bought and branded as a cavalry horse^ to be put in to the 
Government at $119, and when the back of the seller was turned, 
another brand would be put on him, by the inspector, as an artillery 
horse, to be put in at $150 ; the Government being thus handsomely 
defrauded out of the difference." (P. 85 of Report.) 

The perjury of the witnesses, and the stupidity or malice of the 
Committee, appear, when it is considered that there is no such thing" 
as a cavalry or artillery brand. Public animals have no brand affix- 
ed to them excepting the letters " U. S.," burned into the left fore 
shoulder. The bugaboo story, therefore, of branding horses tivice 
for the purpose of making them artillery horses is dispelled into 
" thin air." 

And now, a word in respect to the much abused Jim Neill. As 
" a man is known by the company he keeps," and as Neill was a 
" personal friend" of Colonel Blair, every one had a right to as- 
sume that Jim was as honest, respectable and trustworthy as Blair 
himself, and nothing has occurred to change my estimate of the char- 
acter of either of them. Neill was never an inspector, and if Gans- 
liorne and Everett (as the Van Wyck Committee state) testified he 
was, they swore falsely. ( Vide affidavits of Neill, Appendix, Nos. 
53 & 54.) 

Patrick Brenner is also represented to have testified that he " saw 
them brand my (his) horse as an artillery horse after they had bought 
him as a cavalry horse." This is as absurd as it is false, and is on a 
par with the cock and bull figment of the Committee about double 
or twice branding of horses. 

The Committee aver that the testimony of Brodliead, Pcay and 
McPike connect " the Quartermaster and two of his confederates, 
Pease and Neill, with a gross and palpable fraud upon the Govern- 
ment." And, again, that " by this collusion between the Quarter- 
master's department and Neill and Pease, the Government was de- 
frauded out of the difference between $110 and $119 on 290 mules." 

I call particular attention to Peay's own testimony before the War 
Claim Commission on this subject, and to the affidavits of Messrs. 
Neill and Pease and of Mr. Blakely, who is stated in the record to 
have been present at the time of the alleged sale to me. (Appendix, 


Nos. 55 & 56.) The fact was that Neill had an order to furnish mules 
at $119 a head, and through assistance of Pease, bought Pcay's 
mules. Peay never sold, or offered to sell, them to me at any price ; 
nor did I know what price he asked or obtained. By advancing 
money to Neill for the purpose of enabling him to purchase, Pease 
acquired an interest in the sale, and at Neill's request, the voucher 
was handed to Pease. Peay had no dealing, direct or indirect, with 
me ; nor did I in any way, know him as connected with the transac- 

I direct notice to the answer of James 0. Brodhead, whom the 
Committee assert to be " of the highest character and respectabili- 
ty." When asked by Mr. Dawes, "Then is not the transaction, in 
effect, this : that your client sold his mules to McKinstry for SllO 
a piece, and by some management that you do not know of, at the 
Quartermaster's department, the title was put into Neill, and the 
mules passed to the Government at $119 a head?" Mr. Brodhead, 
notwithstanding he is a lawyer, and should know the value of hear- 
say testimony, does not hesitate to reply positively : " That is it ;" 
and yet, from his own account, it is evident that he did not know a 
single fact in the case. He swore to conclusions drawn from Peay's 
statements to him. 

Again: the Committee say that a horse and mule man by the 
name of Harkness testified that " whoever was fortunate enough to 
get an order from the Quartermaster for the purchase of horses, got 
an inspector of his own selection appointed." The Committee also 
say that this man Harkness testified, with great positiveness, that I 
" allowed the beef contractor, under a contract, to supply 25 to 
30,000 men at 4 4-100 per pound, to actually supply only small 
quantities, (for example : one day only 552 pounds,) and gave or- 
ders specially to other parties to supply the Arsenal, Marine Hospital, 
and the different camps, at 7 and 8 cents per pound. 

The Committee had the prudence to pass over, without comment, 
in their report, this portion of Harkness' testimony, knowing, as 
they doubtless did, when they received the false and scandal-monger 
statement, that I had nothing to do with the beef and other articles 
furnished by the Commissariat. 

I should do injustice to the Van Wyck Committee, and be want- 
ing in candor, if I should omit to say, en passant, that I receive 
their statement of the evidence before them with distrust, bordering 
on disbelief. And not without cause, for it is known that the Com- 
mittee has been publicly charged with the crime of suppressing some 

and garbling other portions of the evidence given before tbera, both 
here and elsewhere. 

If Harkness gave the evidence ascribed to him, he is, to say the 
least, a swift witness, and he seems to have been regarded with great 
favor by the Committee. Unfortunately for this pet of the committee, 
every material statement of his, including what he says in regard to 
the inspection of horses by John Keller, is basely false. 

I append the affidavits of Mr. Keller and Mr. Flanagan. ( Vide 
Appendix, Nos. 57 & (8.) 

A brief statement of facts will show the animus that prompted both 
Harkness and G. F. Filley in their swearing assault on me before the 
Yan Wyck Committee. While General Lyon was in command of 
this department, Filley and Harkness presented a claim to me for 
payment for 50 or 60 horses, at $150 each, representing at the same 
time that Capt. Lyon had given them an order authorizing the pur- 
chase of the horses at that price. As they produced no order or 
authority from any one, I declined payment. On investigation of the 
matter, I found that they had, by misrepresentation and falsehood, 
attempted (to use the language of the Committee) to defraud the 
Government, by obtaining an exorbitant price for horses they had 
never sold. I promptly charged them with their attempted deception, 
and peremptorily refused to pay their exorbitant demand. Of course, 
I incurred their displeasure, which they seem to have fostered into 

This is the same Giles F. Filley who was detected in a very weak 
attempt to practice a deception on me, in making proposals to fur- 
nish camp-kettles and mess-pans, and this, in part, may account for 
his hostility. On the 18th September, 1861, he offered, in writing, 
to furnish 2,000 camp-kettles at 42i cents, and 5,000 mess-pans at 
27 J cents, each. On the following day, his Clerk, G. W. Bell, in 
his own name, (but, of course, in concert with Filley,) offered to 
furnish the same articles, viz : camp-kettles at 13 cents and mess- 
pans at 15| cts. per pound. I annex these offers. (Appendix, Nos. 
55 & 56.) Mr. Filley, manifestly, had no horror of a go-between 
then, nor does it seem that any petty deception stood in his way, if, 
thereby, he could drive a bargain. At that time, I had on hand a 
supply of those articles, and, in point of fact, did not purchase eith- 
er of those articles from any one. I declined to purchase of Filley, 
and gave him my reason for declining. This fact he does not men- 
tion ; but he and the Committee leave it to inference that, after he 
sold the articles to Child, Pratt & Fox, they sold them to me. Fil- 


ley says I declined to buy of him, and he sold tlie articles to Child, 
Pratt & Fox, and that afterwards the Government bought them, &c. 
Now, it was well known to Filley, when he gave his testimony, that 
the camp-kettles and mess-pans he sold to Child, Pratt & Fox, they 
sold to C. P. Chouteau, or P. Chouteau, Jr., & Co., who, in turn, 
sold them to Captain Turnley, my successor. How easy it would 
have been for Mr. Filley, if he had been so disposed, to prevent a 
false impression by stating the whole truth. 

But this is not all that I have to say of Mr. Filley. If he testi- 
fied as he is reported by the Committee, (p. 522, et seq.} he gave 
false testimony, in respect to his offer to me to sell camp-kettles and 
mess-pans. The copy of his proposition, (Appendix, No. 59,)isfrom 
the original. It is not as published by the Committee, over the sig- 
nature of " Giles F. Filley by Bell ;" and he cunningly withholds the 
proposition made by his book-keeper, G. W. Bell. (Appendix, No. 
60.) The proposal of Filley is introduced by the Committee for 
the purpose of supporting their charge tliat I could have purchased 
such articles at a less price. This question was tested before the 
Commissioners on Claims. Tliey allowed $13 per dozen for camp- 
kettles and $6 60 per dozen for mess-pans, which is full 20 per 
cent, higher tlian I paid to any one for sucli articles. 

Again : On p. 526 they continue •with. Mr. Filley, and in answer 
to the question, " The man you sent made a proposition to do the 
work for a given price ?" he says, " Yes sir ; for $3 50 per square 
of 100 feet, but it was not accepted. Afterwards, a contract w^as 
made with Thomson at $4 50, and he sublet It at $3 50." You, sir, 
have the contract before you. It appears by its terms that the con- 
tract with Thomson was for $3 50, and it is in evidence that he nev- 
er sublet it, but did tlie work himself. Mr. Filley, tlierefore, stands 
convicted of having sworn that to be the fact of which lie had no 
knowledge, or has deliberately sworn to a falsehood, either being 

Again : At page 527, in answer to the question, " Do you know 
anything further in reference to contracts with the Government ? " 
Mr. Filley says : " When I heard that Benton Barracks were to be 
erected, William Patrick, a lumber dealer, although he had not the 
kind of lumber the Government wanted, offered to furnish the Gov- 
ernment by charging three per cent, commission on the lumber for 
the barracks. But McKinstry could not entertain a project of that 
kind, but bought the lumber for from Jifi?/ cents to one dollar a thou- 
sand more than what he could have furnished it for." 


The evident object of Mr. Pilley was to lead the Committee to be- 
lieve that I had paid from fifty cents to a dollar more for the lumber 
than it would have cost had I dealt with Mr. Patrick. You are 
aware, sir, from the accounts in your office, that the price paid for 
the lumber was $12 per thousand, and no more ; but I will call Mr. 
Patrick to the stand, to throw more light on this subject. At pages 
653 and 654 of the report, Mr. Patrick states that he met Filley ; 
that Filley asked him what he could furnish the lumber for ; that 
the witness couldn't answer just then ; that the witness looked around 
that evening, and found that he could buy it for twelve or thirteen 
dollars^ and would charge three per cent, commission for doing so." 

" Question. Was $12 a reasonable price ?" 

" Answer. I think the lumber was furnished extremely low. The 
old lumber dealers had all quit their business, and the men who fur- 
nished the lumber are new men, who took the lumber last year for 
debts and piled it up. They sold it very low ; below the market pi-ice 
two or three dollars. 1 am getting two or three dollars more for the 
lumber I furnish to the contractors who are building the fortifica- 
tions and barges." 

Such is the testimony of Mr. Patrick before the Van Wyck Com- 
mittee. It disposes of Mr. Filley, and proves the economy of my 
purchases, as well as the worthlessness of Filley's testimony. 

But what shall be said of an Investigating Committee who could 
found charges against any one upon evidence which was proved be- 
fore them to be false ? 

Charles M. EUeard, who, as I have before said, was recommended 
to me by Col. Frank P. Blair, is next made to figure. The Committee 
say that my suggestion to EUeard that Brady should join him in 
furnishing two thousand horses, is " corrupt in its tendency and 
purpose, and prejudicial in the last degree to the public interest." 
If they had stated what the "purpose" was, I should have nothing to 
say. Mr. Brady was the President of a Stock Association. EUeard 
was the proprietor of a race track and large grounds near this city. 
The number of horses to be furnished was large, and I suggested to 
EUeard that "he and Brady had better work together," because each 
with his own peculiar advantages could assist the other, and serve 
instead o1 prejudicing the "public interests." 

Again, the Committee strive to make it appear that those horses 
were all furnished, and the profits in their sale to the Government 
were all made, at one time. The dealings referred to embraced 


several contracts or orders, and extended through a period of two or 
more months. (See Elleard's affidavit, Appendix, No. 61.) 

As to the $5000 alleged to have been left in my hands for Bowen, 
I refer to the affidavits of Hahn, Thompson and Bowen for a full 
explanation of the occurrence and complete refutation of the charge. 

I have shown that I had nothing to do with making the Haskell- 
Rollins contract, although I did send an inspector to inspect the 
mules, as requested by Major RolUns. (See liis letter, Appendix, 
No. 39.) 

The Committee introduce Jno. D. Perry for the purpose of show- 
ing, I suppose, that he sold mules to me. Haskell then had his large 
order to fill, and at that time I did not believe that more mules would 
soon be needed than he had undertaken to furnish. It is an entire 
mistake, unintentional, I hope, on the part of Perry, in saying that 
he sold his mules to me. He sold to Haskell, as the accounts in my 
office show. The Committee, strangely enough, omit to mention that 
Perry received f 119 each, for his mules ! 

" Even Holt " could not charge me with any responsibility in the 
matter of the fortifications at St. Louis. I deem it proper, however, 
to call attention to a communication on the subject from General 
Fremont to me, (Appendix, No. 62,) and to state that duplicates of 
the contracts which I signed, by General Fremont's orders, were 
immediately forwarded to your office at Washington, as required by 
the regulation. I thus performed my duty in the premises, and your 
department was duly informed of my agency in the matter, and the 
correction, if any was required, could have been applied without the 
agency of committees. 

It is upon evidence of this kind that the Committee, without 
examining further into a transaction which could have been made as 
clear as day, found these accusations. 

The Committee comment upon an offer made to me by Thomas 
Hood to furnish picket pins. They do not notice the fact that the 
offer was made on the ^th of April, 1861, before the bombardment of 
Fort Sumpter, and before the President called for volunteers. They 
knew, but it did not suit their purposes to state, that his offer was 
one of several made in response to an advertisement for proposals. 
They ignore another fact, too, in evidence before them, viz : That 
Hood's sample of picket pins had no swivel head, and, consequently, 
the article was of little value, either intrinsically or with regard to 
the use for which they were needed — I mean for the cavalry in New 
Mexico. The bid which was accepted was for a picket pin with a 


swivel head, and was worth three or four times the price demanded 
for the other. All the bids were sent to the Quartermaster General, 
according to the requirements of law, and no complaint or disapproval 
of the award was made. The encouragement which the Committee, 
according to their own report, gave Hood to suppress the truth and 
state only such matters as would enable them to make an unfounded 
charge, is disgraceful to them. Mr. Hahn's affidavit, in the Appendix, 
fully answers the libel. 

I will now notice, with all the brevity I can command, some of the 
most prominent charges, imputations and stealthy inuendoes, in- 
dulo-ed in by the War Claim Commissioners. I cannot go much into 
details without swelling this communication into undue proportion. 

Mr. Holt, it will be recollected, was Secretary of War (to use his 
own language) towards the close of the late administralion. He takes 
especial pains to state (p. 14, Report) that I was appointed Q. M. 
at St. Louis by Secretary Floyd. If there was contamination in my 
appointment by reason of its source, I have only to say that Mr. 
Holt, for a long time, stood in the closest relations of confidence 
and friendship with his predecessor, Secretary Floyd. 

The Committee mention my removal and the appointment of Col. 
Crossman as my successor, and say, "the latter is a gentleman of 
known purity of life and high reputation as a faitliful and efficient 
officer." The sneaking inuendo contained in this remark clearly 
exhibits the invidious spirit of the author of the report. 

But the Committee would have furnished a solution for the petty 
malice of the author, if they had stated the fact that the appointment 
of Col. Crossman as my successor was made by Secretary Holt 
himself, " towards the close of the late administration !" It may be 
useful to those charged with the administration of the Government 
to know something more of the antecedents of Joseph Holt. I, there- 
fore, append a letter which was extensively circulated at the time of 
its publication through Kentucky and the West. (Appendix No. 63.) 

According to the Report of the War Claim Commission, Mr. Fox 
and Col. Blair, M. C, were the instrume)ttalities to displace Crossman 
and reinstate myself as Q. M., so that they might have an available 
man, &c. I shall leave those gentlemen to defend themselves against 
this wanton assault of these Commissioners. But Holt's scurrilous 
imputations upon myself, in the paragraph above, I repel as false and 

I was wholly ignorant of Secretary Holt's desire or intention to 
displace me. He had no cause or reason for doing so. I was 


equally ignorant of the efforts made by Col. Blair and Mr. Fox to 
have me retained on duty here. Mr. Blair never consulted me on 
the subject, and whatever he did was of his own volition. 

These Commissioners, " dressed in a little brief authority," sud- 
denly inflated themselves into vast proportions, and taking a secret 
survey of the universe, assumed to sit in judgment iipon the opinions, 
motives, actions and interests of the rest of mankind. I do not 
recognize their pretensions, nor do I intend to submit to their un- 
warrantable assumptions and imputations. 

The Commissioners (p. 5, Report) say, " Our investigations, from 
day to day, have afforded strong and ever multiplying proofs that the 
administration of the late Q. M. McKinstry was marked by personal 
favoritism, by a complete indifference to the public interests, and by 
an unceasing anxiety to fill, at the expense of the nation, the pockets 
of a clique of men who surrounded him, and, enjoying the uninter- 
rupted entree to his office, ever stood between the Government and 
the honest m3rchants and mechanics who sought to have dealings 
with it." This wholesale calumny I denounce as basely false. The 
words " our investigations,^^ &c., imply that the Commissioners had 
before them credible testimony tending to prove what they assert as 
established facts. It is not true that credible proofs of the character 
indicated were made before them. Their legal adviser, in a " storm 
of passion and profanity," declared, in the dark recesses of this 
modern inquisition, ^^ By God I we can'' t prove anything against 
McKinstry J^ And later, after their report was made public, one of 
their own number (Mr. Campbell) declared in this city, " that there 
was no proof before them implicating Gen. McKinstry." 

Honorable men, it seems to me, can have but little respect for the 
sincerity and manner in which their secret, ex parte, miscalled inves- 
tigations were made. All done behind my back, and the poor privi- 
lege virtually denied to me of meeting my accusers face to face, for 
I was ignorant of what was going on in their secret and midnight ses- 
sions. To call such a procedure an investigation is mockery and shock- 
ing to common sense. And, moreover, to decree conviction of guilt for 
high crimes and misdemeanors, as this trio of modern Neros have 
done in my case, finds its parallel only in the edicts of a Hastings 
and a Jeffries. 

To give color to their calumny, quoted above, the Commissioners 

introduce in their report the fortunes of Assistant Quartermaster 

Dodds, (p. 5). It is left to inference that Capt. Dodds was examined. 

Of course his evidence, like the rest, is a sealed book to me. I know 



nothing of it. Tiie remarks of tlie Commissioners, however, leave 
the inference plain enough, that Captain Dodds testimony reflected 
on mj administration of the Quartermaster's Department. Most 
fortunately, I have it in my power to defend against even this stab 
in the dark. At the time tlie transactions with which Captain 
Dodds is associated occurred, he gave, and he has since given, the most 
substantial evidence of his confidence in my integrity. I received 
from him the following letters at their respective dates : 

Everett House, St. Louis, Sept. 4, 1861. 
Brig. Gen. J. McKinstry, St. Louis. 
Being an admirer of your mode of doing business, I most respectfully ask 
for a place on your staff if you take the " field," and accept any volunteer "aid." 
Having been present at a meeting in Washington City last week, when Quarter- 
master McKinstry had concealed enemies to fight, in which I claim to have done 
some execution, I would most gladly meet the enemies of our country under the 
lead of so gallant a chief. My position now is Assistant Quartermaster, but not 
assigned for duty, and am anxious to see service under some ofiicer of experience 
and not a second class politician. Having a practical knowledge of all connected 
with transportation, horses, mules, wagons, &c., and some inilitary, not enough 
to be more than a good Volunteer Colonel, I submit my claims. 
Most respectfully, your obedient servant, 

JOS. L. DODDS, Capt., 

Q. M. U. S. Vols. 

Everett House, St. Louis, Sept. 8, 1861. 
Bng. Gen. J. McKinstry, Q. M. Gen. 


Not being in any manner responsible for the attempted interference with 
your duties by civilians or others, I must protest against being made to bear any 
of their want of courtesy, and having made myself obnoxious to the outside pres- 
sure by siding with the regular bureau and yourself, you will please not assign 
me for duty into their hands. 

Believing I possess the qualifications to discharge the duties of A. Q. M. with 
credit to myself and the interest of the service, having some practical knowledge 
of the material from a steamboat down to a gimblet, and having been assigned 
to the water transportation, I would be glad to receive explicit instructions from 


Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

JOS. L. DODDS, A. Q. M. 

His path, it seems, was beset (as mine has been) by a set of hungry 
wolves, watching with stealthy tread to seize the public carcass. 
Captain Dodds in his extremity appealed to me for protection against 
them, and sought a position upon my staff. If fraud and corruption 
held undisputed sway daring my administration of the Quartermas- 


ter's Department, as the Commission falsely charge, it occurs to me 
that Capt. Dodds would have manifested his " unconquerable determ- 
ination to expose frauds vpon the Gov eminent ^^^ in some other way 
than is shown by his letters. This is another instance of the gross 
injustice of the miscalled investigations of the Commission. Now 
the facts are : Capt. Dodds was assigned to special duty, as will be 
seen by the order of Gen. Fremont, and was not at any time in 
charge of the clothing department, or acting under my orders. ( Vide 
Appendix, No. 64.) This disposes of the pathetic story of the 
" fortunes of Assistant Quartermaster Dodds," composed by Joseph 

Again, the Commissioners (p. 18) say, that "/Ae contract for the 
roofing of Benton Barracks was proved to have been tainted with 
fraud^'' and with the proclivity to garble evidence that has character- 
ized their whole course, the Commissioners leave it to be inferred 
that the Q. M. was a party to the fraud. 

This unfounded charge of fraud, and the manner of its statement, 
seems to be the crowning effort of the Commissioners. To use their 
own graphic language, " nothing more shameless appears" in their 
report. Thei-r assertion is " perfectly naked in the hideousness of 
its profligacy." 

As a cover for their dastardly assault, they lug into their report 
(p. 19) the ex parte statement of one C. H. Pond, a weak, addle- 
brained fellow. A serious refutation of Pond's statement in this 
community would scarcely be expected. To "lie like a war bulletin" 
is his special vocation. The time of the occurrence mentioned by 
Pond is not given, but he bases his statement on information given 
him by his son-in-law, Clapp. In refutation of the story of Pond in 
respect to the Barracks frauds, as well as of the examination he speaks 
of before me, I produce the sworn recantation of his son-in-law, 
Clapp, and the affidavits of W. R. McCracken and A. B. Ogden. 
(Appendix, Nos. 65 k ^^.^ 

The statement of the Commissioners that I had a favorite, or 
showed favoritism, in awarding the contract for the roofing of 
Benton Barracks to Mr. Almon Thompson, is positively false. I had 
but a slight acquaintance with Mr. Thompson, but having become 
satisfied that he was a responsible man and could command the 
means to enable him to do the work, and finding, too, that he was 
the only one of all the bidders who had the material on hand for the 
roofing, I awarded the contract to him. The price, $3.50, when all 
the circumstances, and the time in which the roofing was to be done, 


are taken into consideration, was fair and reasonable. The com- 
manding General deemed the Barracks positively essential to the 
public service, and required their construction in the shortest possi- 
ble time. I simply performed my duty, in obedience to orders, by 
securing the services of a responsible man who had the material on 
hand to complete the work. The charge that the contract with 
Thompson was fraudulently awarded, and that it was faithlessly 
executed, is also false. Opposed to the charges and statements of 
the Commissioners, I submit the affidavits of A. B. Ogden, the 
superintendent of the work, and Almon Thompson, the contractor, 
and also of Messrs. Charles H. Peck, John B. Gibson, Z. T. Knott, 
Henry Kennedy and John Ramsey, (gentlemen of the first standing 
in this city,) all of whom state that they thoroughly examined the 
work, and all of them pronounce it well executed. (Appendix, 
Nos. 67 to 74.) 

The apparently wilful misrepresentation of the Commissioners, in 
respect to the expense of the quarters hired for General Fremont 
deserves a passing notice. What they are pleased to call the palatial 
residence of Mrs. Brant, furnished the most suitable and commodi- 
ous quarters that could be found in this city. The premises were 
hired at a time when the duties of the Commanding General and his 
subordinate officers required them to labor early and late, and it was 
an important desideratum that they should be near each other. It 
was found, on inquiry, that the same amount of office accommoda- 
tion, quarters for horses, &c., could not be obtained on better terms 
than was offered by Mrs. Brant. If the Commissioners had been 
influenced by any degree of impartial fairness, they would have 
stated the amount paid by the Government for quarters under Gen- 
eral Halleck's administration. Oh no ! they could not do this with- 
out marring their plans. A reference to the accounts in your office 
will show that, through the last winter. General Halleck and Staff 
have been paid for commutation of quarters and fuel, including of- 
fice rent, sums considerably over the amount I paid for the rent of 
the "palatial residence !" Facts are stubborn things. "Even Holt" 
can't get over them with all his rhetoric. 

The complaints and imputations of fraud in the matter of railroad 
transportation, are stated so generally in the Commissioner's report, 
that it is impossible to say whether or not they include, in their de" 
nunciation, any of the payments made by me for this service. The 
Commissioners show in their report, however, that after General 
Fremont assumed command here, another officer had chief control 


of railroad transportation. So far as relates to my own action in re- 
spect to railroad service, and payments on account of it, I was gov- 
erned by instructions issued from the Quartermaster General's of- 
fice at Washington. 

The instructions include a schedule of rates, which Quartermasters 
were authorized to pay, and are as follows : 


Washington City, July 27, 1861. 


To facilitate the business of this Department, Colonel Thomas A. Scott, 
General Manager of the War Department for railroads, has prepared a scale of 
rates which will be allowed for the transportation of troops and supplies over 
railroads. A copy is herewith enclosed for your information and guidance. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

M. 0. MEIGS, 
Quartermaster General. 
Major J. McKiNSTRY, 

Assistant Quartermaster General, U. S. A., St. Louis, Mo. 


In making settlements with railroad companies for transportation of troops and 
supplies, please observe the following as a general basis. Per passenger per mile 
two (2) cents for distance moved. Equipments, munitions and supplies accom- 
panying regiments first-class local rates, which will average about as follows : 

30 miles or Jess 10 cents per 100 lbs. 

50 " 15 " " 

100 " 25 " " 

150 " 40 " " 

200 " 50 " " 

300 " 75 '« « 

350 to 400 miles not exceeding 90 cents. 
For transportation of horses in small lots, the following are the usual estimated 
weights of railroad companies : 

Single animal 3,000 lbs. 

2 animals 4,000 " 

3 « 5,000 " 

4 " 6,500 « 

5 " 8,000 " 

6 " 9,000 " 

7 " 10,000 " 

8 " 11,000 " 

9 " 12,000 " 

Full car loads, 13 and 14 horses, usually charged 18,000 lbs. 

All other supplies forwarded by freight trains all charged local rates, according 
to classifications of property, which will usually average on provisions and 
heavy freights two to three cents per ton of 2,000 lbs per mile. Dry goodsj 
clothing and light goods will average three to five cents per ton of 2,000 lbs. per 

(Signed,) THOMAS A. SCOTT, 

General Manager. 
N. B. — Please send table of distances. 1 car 9 tons. 


These instructions and schedule of rates were seized with my other 
papers, books, &c., at the instance of the Commissioners, and, of 
course, they had them before them. Why were these important 
papers disregarded and no mention made of them ? The answer 
is obvious. 

Although the Commissioners state in their report that steamboat 
transportation in this department was, by special orders, placed in 
charge of other parties, yet, with their characteristic proclivity to 
strike at me from every point, they say, (p. 9) : " The Quartermaster 
appears to have given little or no personal attention to this most 
important branch of the service." Among the abuses they discovered 
in the steamboat transportation, they instance the chartering of the 
steamboat New Sam Galy. The Commissioners, it is plain enough, 
seek to convey the impression that John H. Bowen acted as ag-ent of 
steamboat transportation in the chartering of that boat, and that it 
occurred during my administration of the Quartermaster's Depart- 
ment. Now, it was in proof before the Commissioners, that Bowen 
had then ceased to be agent, and that the transaction took place 
after my successor had assumed control of the Quartermaster's De- 
partment. Of course I had nothing to do with it. 

This is only another instance of suppressio veri on the part of the 
Commissioners. A partial statement of the facts conveys a false 
impression, whereas the statement of the whole truth conveys a very 
different impression and acquits me of any fault, for I did nothing 
in the matter. 

In the appendix to this communication you will find affidavits of 
the principal large dealers of whom I purchased supplies, and also 
affidavits of other parties, all of which disclose important facts re- 
lating to the subjects under consideration. I respectfully ask your 
attention to these sworn statements. They are the voluntary offer- 
ings of men fully cognizant of the facts of which they speak, and it 
will be found on examination that they utterly refute and repel the 
accusations made against me. If it be objected that the testimony 
furnished by these affidavits is altogether ex parte, I answer, true it 
is ex parte, but it is of the same character of testimony that has been 
heard against me, and it is on ex parte testimony alone that all the 
accusations against me are founded. If I had been allowed to meet 
my accusers face to face, all objections on either side to ex parte 
evidence would have been obviated. 

In this connexion it is fit to further speak of the early course of 
the unprincipled and reckless men, who, singly and combined, have 


been assailing me for months past in the most dastardly manner. 
The men of whom I now speak were conspicuous and active before 
the Van Wyck Committee, as well as before the Commission on War 
Claims. They are the sivift witnesses who furnished the web and 
woof of the reports in question. During the month of October last, 
they resorted to the ingenious contrivance of making some secret 
ex parte representation to the Circuit Court of the United States for 
Missouri, and obtained an order convening a special Grand Jury. 
By the same process they induced the Government to appoint one of 
their own number and a member of the " Safety Committee," James 
0. Brodhead, special attorney to conduct the prosecution. The sig- 
nificance of this whole proceeding is developed by the fact that at 
the beginning of the October Term of the Court, at which the special 
order above was made, there was a Grand Jury summoned and em- 
panneled in due course. Asa S. Jones, Esq., was the United States 
District Attorney charged with the duty of conducting all prosecu- 
tions on behalf of the Government. It was not until after the regu- 
lar Grand Jury for the Term had disposed of all business before 
them and been discharged, that the above application was made for 
a special Grand Jury. It is said, but I know not with what truth, 
that this contrivance of using a Court and Grand Jury for sinister 
purposes originated with the Van Wyck Committee. Be that as it 
may, the special Grand Jury was convened, (of course the jurors were 
ignorant of the sinister purposes they were expected to subserve,) 
and before them the whole pack pursued me, singly and in couples, 
and exhausted their entire sivearing capital to induce the finding 
of an indictment against me for the frauds and malversation in office 
that are charged and reiterated in the reports of the Committee and 
Commission. The examination before the Grand Jury was ex parte, 
and this cabal of talebearers, maliciously intent on my destruction, 
had it all their own way. That tribunal, however, discredited them 
by ignoring the bill ! What a commentary upon the conduct and 
credibility of my accusers ! ! 

It is scarcely necessary to state, what every intelligent man knows, 
that the criminal acts charged against me by the Committee and 
Commission, are punishable under the laws of the United States. 
An indictment, by fair means or foul,was the thing deemed all essential 
to my overthrow. There was a thorough raking over of this whole 
Department for witnesses and proofs against me, and Pond, Filley, 
Peay, et id omne genus, were examined before the special Grand 
Jury. The prosecutors, however, missed their aim, for, after a pro- 


tracted and patient hearing, the Grand Jury acquitted me of the 
high crimes and misdemeanors charged against me. This result 
terminated the chase in that direction. 

While I complain, and not without cause, that a Committee of 
Congress, influenced, as is plain to be seen, by passion and prejudice, 
(not to mention other and baser influences), have condemned me 
without a hearing, I have still greater cause of complaint of the 
course of the Commissioners on War Claims, who, in humble imita- 
tion of their prototype, (the Committee), and as if to ape them in 
the violation of every principle of justice and rule of decency among 
honorable men, have done the same thing. 

It should be borne in mind that the Commissioners acted upon 
claims growing out of the very transactions that they denounce in 
unmeasured terms as fraudulent. Two of the Commissioners are 
reputed to be lawyers, and one of them is dignified with the title of 
Judge I It is but reasonable, therefore, to conclude that they are 
familiar with at least one maxim of the law : 

"Ex dolo malo, non oritur actio." 

It is a familiar principle that a right of action or valid claim can- 
not arise out of fraud. Equally familiar is the rule that fraud avoids 
a contract ab initio both at law and in equity. And will not the 
course of the Commissioners excite astonishment when the fact is 
disclosed that they did not reject a single claim on the ground of its 
being fraudulent ! Such is the fact, and I am borne out in this 
statement by the record of their own proceedings, as well as by other 
and more reliable data, derived from other sources. Any claim 
tainted with fraud is void in toto, and should have been rejected in 
toto for that reason. This is the plain law, and it has its root in 
sound morals. There is no half-ivay house at which to halt under 
the rule governing questions of fraud. Yet the Commissioners (as 
appears by their own report) alloivcd claims involving vast sums 
that grew out of the very transactions which they themselves de- 
clare were fraudulent ! 

It may be said in extenuation of the inconsistent action of the 
Commissioners, that they 7'ediiced some of the claims that they con- 
sidered fraudulent. It is true they made their own charges of fraud 
the pretext for reducing some of the claims. But, I apprehend, that 
they will not be allowed in that way to quibble out of the dilemma 
in which their own inconsistent and unprecedented course has placed 
them. To undertake to reduce or divide a claim that is fraudulent 


in its inception and allow a part of it, is an invention in jurisprudence 
for which the Commissioners are entitled to letters patent. But in 
their zeal to keep up the cry o^ fraud /raud, fraud, in respect to my 
ojB&cial transactions, the Commissioners stultify themselves by doing 
so. There would have been some consistency and reason in their 
action if they had candidly and honestly said, that they considered 
the prices charged for supplies in given cases too high, and that they 
had cut them down for that reason. 

As such a course would involve only a matter of judgment, there 
could have been no substantial ground of complaint. The familiar 
quantum meruit principle to allow for articles furnished what they 
are reasonably worth, no one would find fault with. 

As already remarked, it involves simply a matter of judgment as 
to values. It is not only a just but safe rule for all parties concerned 
— for the Government as well as for individuals. I adopted and 
applied it in all my transactions not controlled by express agreement. 

And, after all, did not the Commissioners themselves follow the 
same rule, taking their own action as the criterion by which to judge 
them ? The result is not changed simply because they gave a wrong 
reason for the conclusion they arrived at. The whole matter, as it 
seems to me, resolves itself into this : The Commissioners, after hear- 
ing proofs, considered some of the charges more than the articles 
furnished were reasonably worth, and they cut down the prices to a 
reasonable value. This done, they illogically conclude that the claim 
thus cut down was fraudulent in its inception. This is not an exag- 
gerated or unfair statement of the action of the Commissioners, so 
far as practical results are concerned. 

It would swell this communication into undue proportions were I 
to attempt to expose all the inconsistencies and falsehoods of my tra- 
ducers. I have, therefore, been content to notice the most conspicu- 
ous. There are many other facts not incorporated in this paper, or 
referred to, which greatly strengthen and confirm all that I have 
stated in the foregoing pages. Several letters not before specially 
referred to are annexed, showing the condition of things in Missou- 
ri, the emergencies and authority under which I acted, and the 
efforts I have made to have my transactions inquired into. (Ap- 
pendix, Nos. 76 to 92.) I have endeavored to present, in a con- 
densed and intelligible form the leading facts connected with my 
ofiicial transactions as Chief Quartermaster of the Western Depart- 
ment, during a period of the most embarrassing exigencies of the 
army service known in its history. And for the purpose of develop- 


ing the leading facts connected with those transactions, and with a 
view to vindicate my character and conduct from the malicious as- 
persions that have been so wantonly heaped upon me, I have pre- 
pared this communication in connection with the rendering of my 
final accounts with the Government. 

This course, in the present attitude of affairs, appears to me the 
only one left open to mo to obtain even a partial hearing in self- 

I adopt it with feelings I cannot trust myself to describe, yet in 
the hope that I shall receive (as from recollections of the past I feel 
a right to claim) the consideration of those at least who hold with 
me the same relations to the Government. 

Upon the facts, pure and simple, I rest my vindication ; and upon 
the consideration of them, I cheerfully abide the impartial judgment 
of all honorable men. 

For your convenience in examining into the transactions to which 
this communication relates, I transmit a printed copy herewith, and 
conclude with the following resume thereof. 

I have shown that, at the inception of the rebellion, a self-consti- 
tuted " Safety Committee," composed of meddling politicians and 
aspirants for position, stimulated by the desire of gain, assumed to 
interfere with, and attempted to control, the military authorities in 
the Western Department. The same parties, and their associates, 
undertook to monopolize the furnishing of supplies for the entire ar 
my in the West. This is shown by the letters of How, Gurnee, Ben 
Farrar, and others, in connection with the facts and circumstances 
which I have brought to your notice. 

Of the military officers in the Department, next to the General 
commanding, I held the most difficult and responsible position. The 
exigencies of the service, suddenly and beyond all former precedent, 
swelled the business of the Quartermaster into immense proportions. 
Requisitions for supplies crowded upon me with such rapidity, and 
were so varied and large, that now, when I take a calm retrospect of 
the past, I am only amazed that I was able to discharge the duties 
and perform the labor that were devolved upon me. It is apparent 
that the vicious interference with the military, and the effort to 
monopolize the patronage of the Government, of which I have 
spoken, were early and especially directed to the Quartermaster's 


And, because I would not yield to the dictation and unceasing de- 
mands of the political and army cormorants, who beset my path, they 
became hostile to me, and manifested their hostility in the shameless 
manner I have pointed out. The same meddling influences that ren- 
dered the administration of General Harney powerless for good were 
brought to bear, with redoubled vigor, on me. I have shown that 
my accusers, for the most part, are the same parties who engaged in 
the foray against General Harney, and the same who attempted to 
control and monopolize the Quartermaster's department. As to the 
criticisms and complaints, in respect to the manner in which I trans- 
acted the business of my office, I have shown that I pursued the reg- 
ulations of the army as far as practicable, in view of the exigencies 
of the service. 

I have exhibited a series of orders issued by the General Com- 
manding which it was my duty to obey, and which show the author- 
ity under which I acted whenever I deviated from the army regula- 
tions. In addition, I was by law and the regulations referred to en- 
trusted with a large discretion as to the time and mode of purchasing 
supplies. The letters and instructions I have exhibited, and par- 
ticularly the authority as well as the approval of the Quartermaster 
General himself, establish beyond all cavil that my course was fully 
justified by competent authority. 

The statement of the Commissioners on War Claims that the mo- 
neys borrowed by the Government from the Banks, and placed in my 
custody for disbursement, were " loosely entered" in my books, is 
disproved. A complete abstract verbatim of those entries is con- 
tained in the Appendix. 

The original entries, as they stand in my cash book, will be ex- 
hibited to you with this by my cashier ; and it will be seen that the 
entries are full, regular, and in due form. Doubtless, this and other 
false representations to the President led him to state, (as I am 
credibly informed he did,) that I had " failed to account for upwards 
of a million of dollars." 

My returns, now on file in the office of the Quartermaster General, 
account for every cent of money that ever came into my custody. I 
invite examination and the most rigid criticisms of my accounts. 
The false suggestion that I refused to render my accounts is refuted 
by the Exhibits now presented. Instead of delaying or refusing, I 
was prevented from rendering my accounts by the arrest of myself 
and clerks, and seizure of my books and papers. 


It is made as clear as the noon-day sun in the foregoing pages that 
no opportunity has ever been afforded me to furnish proofs to repel 
the accusations against me, nor have I been called on to " explain 
any account or transaction that might seem to need it." On the 
contrary, such privileges have been denied to me. Nor has there 
ever been a fair and impartial examination into my transactions. 
These facts are established beyond question. 

The whole course of the Van Wyck Committee in this department 
■was inquisitorial, partisan, and unfair, and the demoralizing prac- 
tices of the Committee invited and encouraged false swearing. But 
not content with this, the Committee garbled portions and suppressed 
other portions of the evidence heard by them. 

The proofs and explanations here given, refute and repel the 
wholesale accusations and calumnies, in gross and in detail, of this 
itinerant Congressional Committee. 

Next in order it is made to appear that the Commissioners of 
War Claims followed closely in the footsteps of their predecessors, 
the Yan Wyck Committee, and dealt largely in charging fraud and 
malversation, without proof on which to found either. The preju- 
dice and personal hostility of their legal adviser, S. T. Glover, are 
now unmasked. His whole course is marked by prejudice and 

The examinations of the Commissioners, as is shown, were secret 
and partial, and, though instructions were given that I should be 
invited to " explain any transaction that might seem to need it," no 
such invitation was ever extended to me. It is apparent that the 
Commissioners gave loose rein to their passions and prejudices, and 
indulged in charges of the gravest character, which rest alone on 
their ipse dixit. 

I have shown the condition of affairs in this Department during 
the time I administered the office of Quartermaster. The financial 
condition and credit of the Government during the time of these 
transactions are also shown, and in the proper connexion I have 
brought to view the difficult and embarrassing circumstances that 
surrounded the operations of the Quartermaster's Department. 

It is shown, too, that I exercised proper care, industry, and econ- 
omy, in all my official transactions, and no loss has happened to the 

Thus I have demonstrated that the grave accusations against me 
were originated by falsehood and ill-will for selfish and malicious 


In conclusion, allow me to say that it has given me no pleasure to 
review the conduct of my accusers. I have done so from a sense of 
duty to those who are near and dear to me. If I have expressed 
myself with some severity, it is because I feel deeply the wrongs and 
injuries that I have suffered. I trust that some consideration may 
be given to the trying circumstances under which I have spoken in 

Very respectfully, 

Brig.- Gen., U. S. A. 


[No. 1.] 

Springfield, Mo., Nov. 8th, 1861. 

I have the honor to state for the information of the General commanding the 
5th Division that the 8th Iowa Infantry had no transportation on the 9th of Octo- 
ber, 1861. I had one six mule team which I brought from Jefferson City. 
Very respectfully, your obd't serv't, 

T. W. Sweeney, A. A. Adft. Gen. Col. 8th Iowa Inf. 

[No. 2.] 

Springfield, Mo., Nov. 8th, 1861. 

I have the honor to say that no transportation was in possession, October 
9th, (at the time the Secretary of War was at Syracuse, Mo.,) of the three com- 
panies of regular Cavalry, except four mules belonging to Co. " D," 4th Cav- 
alry ; they were brought from Arkansas. 

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obd't serv't, 

Capt. 4:th Cavalry, com'ding squadron and half. 
Brig. Gen, McKinstry, ComPding — present. 

[No. 3.] 

Springfield, Mo., Nov. 8th, 1861. 

In reply to your inquiries in regard to the amount of transportation in pos- 
session of the regular Cavalry when at Syracuse, I have the honor to state that 
the only means of transportation then in the command were four mules belong- 
ing to "D" company. 

Very respectfully, your obd't serv't, 

Lt. Com'ding Co. " C," Mi Cav., U. S. A., and A. A. Qr. Master. 

Brig. Gen. McKinstry, Com'ding bth Division, Army of the West. 


[No. 4.] 

Camp Near Springfield, Oct. 8th, 1861. 
Major Gen'l McKinstry, Com?ding 5th Division. 


I have the honor to state that at the time the Hon. Simon Cameron, Sec- 
retary of War, reviewed the troops at Syracuse, this battalion of Ist and 2d In- 
fantry had no transportation whatever. 

I am, sir, very truly, your obd't serv't, 

2d Lieut. 1st Infantry, A. A. Q. M. 

[No. 5.] 

Statement of transportation on hand and in the use of the 1st Reg. Neb. Terr. 
Vols., on the 2d October, 1861 : 

23 six mule teams, wagons and harness complete ; 
2 light wagons, with four horses each, in hospital service ; 
2 ambulances, two horses each, in hospital service. 

I certify the above statement is correct. 

Nov. 8, 1861. Lieut, and Act. R. Q. M. 1st Neb. Vols. 

[No. 6.] 

Headquakters 7th Reg't Mo. Vols., 2d Brig., 5th Division, Army ") 
of the West, Camp near Springfield, Mo., Nov. 9th, 1861. j 
General : 

In reply to your inquiry "When my regiment was furnished transpor- 
tation, and the amount?" I state that whilst at RoUa, Mo., I was supplied with 23 
Bix mule teams. Retained them about a week, when, by order of the command- 
ing officer, they were turned over to the Q. M. Dep't. My regiment was then 
ordered to JefFerson, and from thence to Syracuse, without transportation, other 
than the Pacific Railroad. At Syracuse, after the review by the Secretary of 
War and Gen. John C. Fremont, I was furnished with 17 wagons for my regi- 
ment ; a miscellaneous assortment of two horse, four horse and six mule teams — 
most of the animals rendered unfit for service for want of shoeing. At this pres- 
ent moment my transportation is reduced to 11 wagons for the entire regiment, 
the Q.M. Dep't having taken possession of my other teams for the transportation 

of army supplies. 



Col. 1th RegH Mo. Vols. 
Brig. Gen. Justus McKinstrt, 

Comd'g 5th Division, Army of the West. 


[No. 7.] 

St. Loms, Mo., October 17th, 1861. 
Hon. C. Van Wvck, Chairman Congressional Investigating Committee, Bar- 
num's Hotel, St. Louis : 

Sir — I am told for the first time, this morning, that your Committee are 
Bitting, and have been for some days past, at Barnum's Hotel, in secret session, 
examining -witnesses and taking testimony relative to the contracts, orders and 
expenditures for the public service by the Quartermaster's department at this 
place. This is the first time that I, who am the chief clerk of General McKin- 
Btry, late Chief Quartermaster of this Department, have been aware of the fact. 
General McKinstry himself — who is now in the field with the army — so far as I 
am aware, has been in like manner ignorant of the investigations now going on. 

It will be impossible, as I conceive, for your Committee fully to understand 
the action of the Quartermaster's Department hero, without conference with 
General McKinstRy or myself, or examination of papers in this office in connec- 
tion with such explanations as are needful for the proper understanding of the 
business transacted here, to do justice either to the public or the late Quarter- 
master. In the absence of General McKinstry with the army, I am induced to 
gay that I am ready to attend upon your Committee at any time with all papers 
needful for your examination, and trust that you will, at any time, call upon me, 
as representing General McKinstry, for any explanations of any transaction 
which may appear to you to require explanation. All papers and documents in 
this office will be most cheerfully presented for your examination and inspection. 
Justice to General McKinstry, and a desire to aid your Committee by every 
means in my power, has induced me to make this communication. 

May I also ask to be permitted to have access to, and a perusal of such testi- 
mony as may have been taken by your Committee. This may be very important, 
in order to enable, if necessary, any needful explanations. 

With great respect, I am, sir, your obedient servant. 


[No. 8.] 

Qu.uitermaster's Office, ) 
St. Louis, Mo., October 19, 1861. ) 
To the Congressional Investigating Committee, Barnum's Hotel : 

Gentlemen — I am in receipt of your communication of the 17th instant — 
through your clerk, Mr. Andrews, addressed to me, in reply to mine of the same 
date, to your Chairman. 

In reply to your inquiries for statistical information respecting horses and 
mules purchased by this Department, I have the honor to enclose herewith the 
information desired. 

Allow me to remind your Committee that the latter portion of my letter of the 
17th instant, has not been noticed by you. 

You will pardon me for further saying that I am informed on unquestionable 
authority that, at the suggestion of some personal enemy of General McKinstry, 
you are taking testimony which is sought to be used to the personal injury of 
that officer, and that, too, in his absence, without his knowledge, and with no 
opportunity afforded him for replying to, or explaining the facts relative thereto. 


I cannot refrain from suggesting to you, whether such a course pursued towards 
an officer absent in the field, in the face of the enemy, is either fair or proper. 
As a friend of General McKinstry, as the chief clerk of this department, lately 
under his charge, I here enter my protest against any such secret and inquisito- 
rial investigations, and, in his behalf, demand that he be treated by your Com- 
mittee in that fair and open manner which it is the right of every officer and cit- 
izen to have extended towards him. 

I am, gentlemen, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


[No. 9.] 

St. Louis, Mo., October 28, 1861. 
To the Congressional Investigating Committee, Barnum^s Hotel, St. Louis, Mo. : 
Gentlemen — I again beg leave to call your attention to the request contained 
in the last clause of my letter to your Committee, through its Chairman, Mr. Van 
Wyck, and bearing date the 17th of the present month, wherein is asked, if in 
the absence of General McKinstry in the field, with the army, you would allow 
me, his chief clerk in the Quartermaster's department, to have access to, and 
peruse the testimony, taken before your Committee relative to the Quartermas- 
ter's depaetment here, while under charge of that officer. To that request — al- 
though your attention was again called to the fact that you had failed to notice 
it — I have, as yet, received no reply. I, again, respectfully, repeat the request, 
and that you will, also, send me a reply to the same. I have previously inform- 
ed you that when a secret investigation upon, — without notice to the party whose 
doings were the subject of investigation, — something might be made to appear 
which might seem to need explanation. No man's character, be he whom he may, 
can be safe against such ex parte examinations, and especially where, as I aver 
has been the case here, such examinations have been, in part, conducted at the 
instance of personal enemies to General McKinstry, and with the avowed purpose 
of doing him injury A partial examination upon the subject of an alleged sale of 
certain animals by one Mr. Peay, to the Government, has caused it to be charged 
that, in that particular instance, a fraud upon the Government was perpetrated. 
The evidence is in existence, and can be given before you, proving the entire fal- 
sity of that charge. The witnesses to that effect are ready to go before you, and 
you shall be furnished with them, if you inform me that such testimony will be 
heard by you. It may be — although I am ignorant on the subject — that other 
matters may seem to you to need explanation. If such is the case, will you 
promptly advise me of the fact ? I ask this, not simply as a favor, but as aright 
which cannot justly or equitably be refused to the humblest citizen, and especi- 
ally requested in favor of one who has been clothed with an important public 
trust, as was General McKinstry, and who, from the nature of his present duties, 
has no opportunity of appearing before you in person. While General McKin- 
stry challenges the most searching examination into all of his acts and doings as 
Quartermaster of this department, he has a right to expect that it will be con- 
ducted with fairness, in justice to himself. May I request that you will admit 
my letters to your Committee, to be placed on the file of its proceedings, and, 
also, that you will call before you, for examination, Mr. J. S. Pease. 

I am, gentlemen, with great respect, your obedient servant, 



[No. 10.] 

St. Loms, Nov. 23, 1861. 
General : 

Hon. Judge Holt is ready to begin an examination of your papers. I 
have suggested that one of your confidential clerks should be present at all times 
when the Commissioners are examining the matter. Will you designate a person 
to act for you in such capacity? 

Very respectfully, your obd't serv't, 

Brig. Gen. J. McKinstry, Arsenal, St. Louis, Mo. Brig. Gen., ^c. 

[No. 11.] 

St. Loms, Nov. 23, 1861. 
General : 

I have yours of this date, in which you recommend that one of my 

confidential clerks be present at the examination of my papers, &c., before Judge 

Holt and his associates. 

In reply, I have to state that I have no confidential clerks, and never have had 
while in the discharge of my official duties. Still, it is important to me that my 
papers should be properly examined, and I therefore request that my attorney, 
John M. Krum, Esq., be permitted, in my behalf, to be present at the examina- 
tion of my papers. 

If any examination is made I hope it may be what I have been asking to have 
done — a full and a fair one. 


Brig. Gen. Curtis, St. Louis. J. McKINSTRY. 

[No. 12.] 

St. Louis, Nov. 23, 1861. 
General : 

I have just received a message from General McKinstry, requesting 
me to wait on you with the enclosed letter. 

He has communicated to me the substance of his communication to you, and 
he has requested me to be present at the proposed examination of his ofl&cial 
papers. This I am willing to do, and now request that you will inform me when 
it will be the pleasure of the Commissioners to enter upon the proposed examin- 
ation. I can attend at any time, either in the morning of the day or in the 
evening, to suit the convenience of the Commissioners. 


Brig. Gen. S. R. Curtis. JOHN M. KRUM, 

[No. 13.] 
To THE President : 

St. Louis, Dec. 9th, 1861. 

It is known to you that in the early part of last month, Brig- 
General J. McKinstry, while on his return with the army from South-west Mis- 
souri, was arrested under a military order, emanating, as is alleged, from the 
War Department. He was immediately transferred to a building within the 


walls of the arsenal in this city, where he has been held ever since, restrained 
of his liberty by military authority. It is also known to you, no doubt, that 
General McKinstry, within a few days after his arrest, addressed a respectful 
communication through the proper channel, to the Secretary of War, asking to 
be informed of the grounds of his arrest, imprisonment, &c. Up to the present 
time he has received no reply to his communication. 

About a week ago a paragraph appeared in the newspapers, to the effect that 
charges had been preferred against General McKinstry, and that a court martial 
had been ordered. Acting on the presumption that inasmuch as he had been 
summarily arrested and subjected to the indignity of imprisonment, he would 
have early opportunity of vindicating his honor in due course of law, and in an- 
ticipation of a trial, he retained me as his counsel. Although I stand in this 
relation to General McKinstry, it is proper for me to say that 1 do not write this 
communication at his instance, nor as his counsel — I am prompted to it by other 

There are peculiar circumstances attending the arrest and imprisonment of 
General McKinstry that savor of persecution, and of an attempt to visit punish- 
ment upon him before conviction of any offence. Nearly four weeks have 
elapsed since his arrest and impi-isonment, yet he is kept in ignorance of the 
cause of his arrest, and no charges (so far as he knows) have been preferred 
against him. He is kept under military surveillance and duress. lie is not even 
allowed the privilege of visiting his wife and children, living in this city. 

The very stringent and unusual course pursued by the Government towards 
General McKinstry, is the subject of frequent comment and severe criticism, 
here and elsewhere. I deem it due to your ^idministration and to yourself, that 
you should be informed of the facts I have stated. 

If there has been abuse of authority practiced in this matter, I am confident 
that you, as commander-in-chief of the army, will apply the proper corrective, 
and that you will not allow the imprisonment of an officer to assume the form of 
punishment before conviction. 

The friends of General McKinstry are ready (if the Government will allow it 
to be done) to give bonds for his appearance to answer before any court or 
tribunal, civil or military, in any sum that may bo required. Why may not this 
be done ? 

I respectfully solicit your attention to the matter of this communication, and 

Your obedient servant, 


[No. 14.] 

Monday, Dec. 23, 1861. 

Gentlemen : 

I have been informed by your Secretary that you contemplate taking a recess 
of a week or more. As counsel for General McKinstry I feel it my duty to call 
your especial attention, before you separate, to his papers, pertaining to him as 
late Quartermaster of the Western Department. I cannot speak of my own 
knowledge, (for I have only glanced over a portion of the papers,) but General 
McKinstry informs me that there are among his papers a great number of 
receipts, vouchers, and other written evidence of disbursements of public moneys 
made by him while acting as Quartermaster, involving very large sums — possibly 


a million of dollars in the aggregate. Those receipts and vouchers are essential 
to him in rendering his account to the proper Department of the Government, 
and their loss would involve him and his securities in great difficulty. Valuable 
papers of the kind referred to ought not to be subjected to the handling of indif- 
ferent parties in the absence of their proper owner or custodian. As practical 
business men you cannot shut your eyes to the danger of loss and inconvenience 
to which General McKinstry is exposed. The seizure of his books and papers 
has prevented him from rendering his accounts to the proper Department at 
Washington ; and notwithstanding this and the imprisonment of himself he has 
been ordered to render his accounts, with the proper vouchers, &c. In view of 
these facts, I respectfully but most earnestly request that you will restore to the 
custody of General McKinstry all papers that have a pecuniary value to him, and 
all others that you do not need in the course of your investigations. General 
McKinstry has never denied access to his official papers, or any information in 
his power to give, touching his official transactions ; and I am authorized to say 
that his books and papers may be examined at any time, by any one representing 
the Government. There is nothing touching the official conduct of General Mc- 
Kinstry that he wishes to withhold or conceal ; and, while he scorns the vile con- 
spirators who have attempted to defame and ruin him, he does not believe that 
the Government which he has served so long and so faithfully will lend itself to 
their machinations. 
Hoping to receive a favorable response to my request, I remain. 

Very respectfully. 
To Messrs. Holt, Davis, Campbell. JOHN M. KRUM. 

[No. 15.] 

St. Louis, December 23, 1861. 
Hon. JoHX M. Krum : 

Dear Sir — Your note of this day is just received. We did not order the 
seizure of General McKinstry's papers. The Government did. It is for the Gov- 
ernment to decide on all questions growing out of their seizure. 

Mr. Glover is the counsel of the Govornment for our Commission. Whether 
he has authority to do what you desire, you can readily ascertain by application 
to him. We respectfully refer you to Mr. Glover. 

Yours, most truly, 


[Memorandum by John M. Krum.] 

On the 18th Dec, Mr. Glover notified me that he was ready to open the books 
and papers of Gen. McKinstry. I went with him to the room where they were, 
but we could not get in. The next day the room was opened by the Provost 
Marshal and Mr. Glover. Mr. Hopkins and myself worked at the papers about 
three hours. The next day Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Widgery worked an hour or 
two, when Mr. Hopkins was called away to attend the Commissioners of Claims, 
and nothing further was done in regard to the books and papers until after the 
following correspondence between Mr. Glover and myself. 


[No. 16.] 

St. Louis, December 24, 1861. 
Hon. John M. Krum : 

Sir — I have been requested by the honorable Commissionei-s for Investiga- 
tion of Claims originating against the Western Department, prior to October 14, 
1861, to make an examination of the books and papers of General McKinstry, 
late Quartermaster of this place. The labors of the Commission, which closed 
temporarily yesterday, have been such as to prevent me from entering upon that 
duty, fully, till this morning. I am now ready to go with you and look into the 
papers, in your presence, as was proposed, and partially begun, some days since ; 
or, if not convenient to do so now, I will attend you at your convenience. 
Hoping you will name an early day, 

I remain, very respectfully, 


[No. 17.] 

St. Louis, Dec. 24th, 1861. 
S. T. Glover, Esq., Attorney for the United States. 


I have your note of this morning, requesting me to be present at the exam- 
ination of the books and papers of Gen. McKinstry, late Quartermaster of the 
Western Department. 

When I consented a few weeks ago to be pi-esent at the examination of those 
books and papers, I supposed that some account of them had been taken when 
they were seized, and that they were under the control of the Commissioners, 
Messrs. Holt, Davis and Campbell, and that such papers as were not needed to 
assist them in their investigations would be restored to Gen. McKinstry. 

On the 19th inst., when the room was opened, I learned from Gen. Curtis and 
the officer who executed his order for the seizure of the books and papers, that 
no account of them whatever had been taken, and they do not profess to know 
what they seized. And on yesterday the Commissioners informed me that they 
had no control whatever of those books and papers ; and you stated to me ver- 
bally that you had none, except that you considered that you were authorized kv 
the Government to examine them, and to retain such as you might deem neces- 
sary for the purposes for which you were employed, &c. 

Finding svich to be the condition of things, and no one ^appearing to be in 
charge of the books and papers that were seized, responsible for their safe keep- 
ing or restoration, I hesitated, when I received your note, as to the propriety of 
my having anything to do with the proposed examination. On further reflection 
I have now to state that I am willing to be present, provided a schedule or list 
be made of the books and papers we examine. 

And for this purpose I will meet you at the room, with a competent clerk (Mr. 
Widgery) to assist, at nine o'clock, Thursday morning, 26th inst. 

' Respectfully, 



[No. 18.] 

St. Louis Arsexal, January 2cl, 1862. 

On the 13th November last I was ordered under arrest, and have ever since 
been held in confinement at this post. 

Immediately after my arrest I addressed a respectful communication to the 
Adjutant General, asking that I might be informed of the accusations against 
me, and that I might have the benefit of a trial by court martial. More than six 
weeks have elapsed since I addressed that communication to the Adjutant Gen- 
eral, yet I have not, up to this time, been informed of the accusations or grounds 
upon which the order for my arrest was made. 

Very recently it has come to my knowledge that a committee of Congress, gen- 
erally known as the "Investigating Committee," of which H. C. Van Wyck is 
chairman, made a report, in which serious imputations are cast upon my conduct 
while acting as Quartermaster of the Department of the West ; and said com- 
mittee accuse me, in varied forms, of malversation in office while discharging the 
duties of such Quartermaster. 

I now respectfully ask that a court of inquiry may be ordered to examine into 
the imputations and accusations of said committee against me ; and further, (if 
it shall be deemed for the interest of the public service,) to examine and inquire 
generally into my conduct, and the manner in which I discharged the duties of 
Quartermaster at St. Louis. 

I am, respectfully, 


To Brig. Gen. L. Thomas, Adft. Gen. U. S. A. 

Brig. Gen. and Q. M. 

[No. 19.] 

St. Louis, Mo., January 9th, 1862. 
To THE President : 

On the 9th of December I addressed a letter to you on the 
subject of Genei-al McKinstry's arrest and imprisonment. That my letter re- 
ceived proper attention I have assurance from Hon. Reverdy Johnson. Since 
then, a committee of Congress has made a report by which imputations and as- 
persions, of the most serious character, have been cast upon the honor and char- 
acter of General McKinstry. 

As soon as the report referred to came to his knowledge, he addressed a com- 
munication to the Adjutant General, asking for a court of inquiry. A copy of 
his letter is enclosed herewith. 

The circumstances attending the arrest and imprisonment of Gen. McKinstry 
are so very unusual and altogether without precedent in the history of military 
or civil affairs, that I hope you will pardon me for addressing you directly, as 
the head of the army and the nation, again on the subject. 

A great wrong has been done General McKinstry , and if the military author- 
ities were either misled or imposed upon when orders were issued against Gen- 
eral McKinstry, it now devolves upon the same authorities to make the only rep- 
aration in their power by giving the accused an opportunity to vindicate his con- 
duct and character before a court of inquiry. 


As a matter of simple justice I ask of you to see that this is done. I also ask 
that the limits of arrest of General McKinstry may be extended to the city of St. 
Louis, for the following reasons : 

First — No charges have been made against him, and it is therefore fair to pre- 
sume that he is not held in his present confined limits for any alleged offence. 

Second — The Government, by holding General McKinstry in his present limits 
at the Arsenal, and withholding his books and papers, prevents him from ren- 
dering his accounts as Quartermaster. 

I speak of what I know, and earnestly appeal to you to see that even-handed 

justice be meted out to an injured man and officer. 

I am, respectfullvj your obedient servant, 


[No. 20.] 

'ERS ^ 

St. Louis, July 29, 1861. 

Headquarters Western Department, ) 

L. ^ 


The Commanding General directs that you be prepared to supply, with the 
least possible delay, clothing and camp and garrison equipage for twenty-three 
regiments of Infantry, three regiments of Cavalry, and one regiment of Artil- 
lery. It is the wish of the General to have these supplies at command during the 
next fortnight, and he directs that you ascertain by telegraph what can be ob- 
tained from the East, the balance you will have made. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Major J. McKinstry, A. Q. M. AssH. Adft. Gen'l. 

[No. 21.] 

Headquarters, St. Louis, July 29, 1861. 
Major J. McKinstry, Q. M. V. S. A. 

I am directed by General Fre'mont to say that he wishes you to purchase Cav- 
alry equipments up to five hundred, if that number can be had, to-morrow. If 
not the full amount of five hundred, then all that can be had. 

Respectfully yours, 


[No. 22.] 

By Telegraph from 
Fort Madison, August 6, 1861. 
J. McKinstry, A. Q. M. 

Your dispatch found me in Missouri. This noon, sharp skirmish at Athens ; 
three Union killed, eleven wounded ; six rebels found dead, nine wounded on the 
ground. Colonel Moore commanding Union ; Colonel Green, rebels. Rebels thor- 
oughly routed ; particulars by mail. Fifth and Sixth Regiments have blankets, 
cartridge boxes, cap-pouches, belts and gun slings. No guns, knapsacks, haver- 
sacks, canteens, tents or good clothing. Can and will you furnish them at St. 
Louis ? When and how shall I move ? The Fifth is ready at one hour's notice, 
as above conditioned. W. H. WORTHINGTON, 

Colonel 5th J. V. 


[No. 23.] 

Headquarters, St. Louis, August 6, 1861. 
Major J. McKiNSTRT, Q. M. U. S. A. 

Can you procure in town, two hundred uniforms, complete, for companies 
A and B, pioneers, now on board Empress ? If so, equip them to-day. Grey or 
blue shirts and pantaloons preferable ; socks, shoes and felt hats. 

Did you order the five thousand felt hats in New York, now there for me ? 
Respectfully, J. C. FREMONT, 

Maj. Gen. Commanding. 

[No. 24.] 
Headquarters, Western Department, > 
August 20, 18G1. ) 
Major J. McKinstrt, Q. M. U. S. A. 

The accompanying requisition is for the clothing of a regiment of Home 
Guards, at JeflFerson City. The Colonel (McClung) is represented by Captain 
Murphy, who takes this note. There is also a regiment of Home Guards atRolla, 
the requisition for which is lying on my table, to go presently to you ; and also, 
for a battalion at Clark county, and a battalion somewhere else, and a large re- 
quisition for Ironton, which Captain Turnley made out yesterday, making, in all, 
clothing for some six thousand men, which the General desires you to have pur- 
chased in the city, and made ready to forward at once, under charge of officers, 
to be turned over and distributed at the points of destination. Will send the 

other requisitions shortly. 

Respectfully, I. C. WOODS, 


[No. 25.] 

ers Western 

August 21, 1861. 

Headquarters Western Department, ) 

L. ^ 

To Major J. McKinstrt, Q. M. U. S. A. 

The General Commanding consents that you order the 1,000 grey pantaloons, 
1,000 jackets, of which Lieutenant McGibbon has this day brought and shown a 
sample at Headquarters, if the prices are not more than you are paying for 
same quality of material. 

Respectfully, J. C WOODS,, 


[No. 26.] 
Headquarters Western Department, ) 
St. Louis, Mo., August 27, 1861. ) 

The Commanding General directs that you purchase and furnish for the se- 
cond Kansas regiment, 500 pants, 500 jackets, 125 common tents, and 30 wall 
tents. Very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 


Asst. Adj. Gen. 
Major J. McKinstrt, A. Q. M., St. Louis. 


[No. 27.] 

Headquarters Western Department, ) 
September 4, 1861. J 
General : 

The movement of troops here is already beginning to be embarrassed by the 
scanty means for transportation, and in reference to future operations it is clear 
that there is no time to be lost in making immediate preparation. I, therefore, 
desire you to contract, with the least possible delay, for not less than one thou- 
sand wagons, to be required so soon as the plans for the carrying on of the war 
shape themselves more definitely. 

I prefer, for this Department, the lighter built Concord fashioned wagon to 
the heavy Pennsylvania style of wagon generally used in the East. Mules for 
the above should, at some time, be provided. 

Brig. Gen. McKinstry, Quartermaster, <f-c. 


Maj. Gen. Commanding. 

[No. 28,] 

Assistant Quartermaster General's Office, ) 
Western Department, St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 16, 1861. S 
[Confidential. 1 
Captain : 

Transportation is required at Jefferson City sufficient to move fifteen thou- 
sand men. You will take immediate steps to find out what amount of transpor- 
tation can be procured at Jefferson City, and also what amount can be sent 
from this city. Use the telegraph and whatever other means you can to expedite 
the matter. Transportation will also be required for moving ten thousand men 
from Rolla. 

These matters must be attended to proynptly. Make your report to me with as 
little delay as practicable. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


Captain Bradshaw, 

A, Q. M., U. S. A., St. Louis. 

Brig. Gen. and Q. M. 

[No. 29.] 

By Telegraph from 
Cincinnati, August 5, 1861. 
Maj. McKinstry, A. Q. M. 

I have no tents except what I am having made. I will have twenty regi- 
ments to supply in the next two weeks, and can't spare what you want. 


Captain and A. Q. M, 


[No. 30.] 

By Telegraph from 
Chicago, August 6, 1861. 
Maj. McKiNSTRY, A, Q. M. 

Dispatch received. I seat you one hundred (100) tents to-day. There 
are no more here entirely ready. May be one hundred (100) more ready to- 


[No. 31.] 
Major McKiNSTRY : 

Dear Major — If you buy any more horses, I wish you to give Jim Neal a 
fair chance. He is a "personal friend of mine, and a sound Union man. By em- 
ploying Neal you will confer a great favor. 

(Signed) FRANK P. BLAIR, Jr., 

Col. 1st Reg. M. V. 

[No. 32.] 
Dear Major : 

John H. Bowen is, and has been, all right, and I shall be glad if you can do 
him a favor consistently with the public interests. I mean everything I say in this 
short note. Your friend, 


Col. 1st Reg. M. V. 
St. Louis Arsenal, May 21, 1861. 

[No. 33.] 

Major McKiNSTRY : 

I wish you would buy wagons from Espenscheid & Kearn, German wagon-ma- 
kers. They are Union men. Murphy & Verdin are both secessionists. I wish 
you would not buy from them; it is injurious to you and to the cause. 


St. Louis Arsenal, August 17, 1861. 


[No. 34.] 
Major McKiNSTRY : 

Dear Major — I shall be much obliged to you if you can give Mr. Aleck Peter- 
son a contract for buying horses. He is a good friend of mine, a firm Union man, 
and I should be glad to serve him. 


Tuesday, August 27, 1861. 


[No. 35.] 

St. Louis, September 6, 18G1. 
General McKinstrt, Qr. Mr. 

General — This will introduce Colonel Bogy, of Ste. Genevieve, a good Un- 
ion man, vrho finds himself surrounded by unpleasant circumstances at home. 
The Colonel is desirous of obtaining a contract for the purchase of horses. If 
you can aid his wishes you will confer a favor on me. The Colonel is a member 
of the Convention. His business has been entirely destroyed, and it would be 
laying a special obligation on me to give him a contract. 



[No. 36.] 
General McKinstry : 

General — Mr. B. Gishard is the party of whom I spoke to you, and of whom 
I sent you a message by Charley Elleard. He wants to furnish some horses to 
the Government. See that he is attended to. 

Yours, &c., 

frank: p. BLAIR, Jr. 
September 11, 1861. 

[No. 37.] 

Office of Assistant Treasurer, U. S. ) 
St. Louis, Mo., May 29, 1861. \ 
Dear Judge : 

Our friends here are complaining, and, I believe, not without reason, that 
the Government patronage at this point is all thrown into the hands of, and for 
the benefit of, our enemies, the secessionists. No one doubts that our friends 
among the mercantile community, can, and will, sell to the Government all man- 
ner of goods on terms as favorable to the Government as any traitor, yet it seems 
that the disbursing officers hereabouts have a most decided preference for patron- 
izing our enemies. This thing should not be permitted. I am anxious to see 
the Government administered on the most economic plan ; but, to gain that ob- 
ject, is it necessary that our friends should be excluded, and traitors employed 
to subsist the army, and fatten on its profits ? Yes, and probably subscribe some 
of those very profits to Jeff. Davis' army. 

The Govornaicnt purchases must always bo to the advantage of somebody, and 
friends rather than enemies should be preferred. 

Major McKinstry, the Acting Quartermaster at this place, should have a leave 
of absence, or some other leave. 

Captain Kelton, who acts here as Commissary of Subsistence, successor to 
Major Waggaman, who introduced him on resigning, is known only to our ene- 
mies, on whom he is said to shower patronage, and for details I refer you to an 
article in Democrat of to-day. I learn that Saml. Simmons is an applicant for 
that post, made vacant by the resignation of Major Waggaman, and I regard it 
as a matter of the utmost importance that he should be appointed, and that it be 
done immediately. 


Can't you have Gen. Harney sent away from here ? If he remains here much 
longer we shall be compelled a second time to conquer a peace in Missouri. 
Can't a division of the army bo made for him, embracing Utah and the Indians ? 

Very truly yours, 
(Signed) BEN. FARRAR. 

Hon. M. Blair, P. M. G., Washington. 

[No. 38.] 

St. Louis, July 15, 1861. 

Dear Frank : 

I write you now in behalf of my brother John, to get you to help him in get- 
ting a contract for furnishing the army with horses. He is about busted up finan- 
cially, and is very much in need of something of the kind to help him through. 

Some of our friends here have had contracts and done pretty well. A word 
or two from you, in a way that you well know how to put, will go far with Mc- 
Kinstry towards putting him in favor, and enable him to get some or a portion of 
the contracts for mules and horses about to be offered. It is the more necessary 
to have something of the kind from you to McKinstry, as I fear he is prejudiced 
against me by reason of my letter to the Judge, which fell into his hands. He 
may be inclined to discriminate against John. I do wish you would write a few 
lines to McKinstry to help John in that matter. If you know any other way to 
help him to a contract, by orders direct from the Department or otherwise, put 
him on it. I know I am bothering you in these matters, and I feel so, for I re- 
member my own obligations to you — yet it is the way of the world. Do them 
a favor and they want another. 

The contracts must be let and somebody will get the profits, and certainly no 
one deserves more than John, or has been a more steadfast friend of the party. 
If you can find occasion to give this matter some attention you will very much 

Your friend, 


Gen. Meigs : If you want horses in Missouri, I most cordially recommend Mr. 
Farrar to purchase them for you. 

Referred to Major McKinstry, A. Q. M., and the writer so informed. 

Quartermaster General. 

[No. 39.] 

Planters' House, September 17, 1861. 
Gen. J. McKinstry : 

Dear Sir — I have just received a telegraphic dispatch that I had 230 mules 
at Jefferson City, ready for inspection. 

I would be much obliged to you if you would give me an order to your inspec- 
tors authorizing one of them to go up, by to-morrow morning's train, and attend 
to the business. If I had the order, I will engage to see the inspectors to-night. 


or very early in the morning, and in time for the train. Allow me to suggest 
that if your present inspectors are so engaged that their services are needed here, 
I have no doubt Mr. Abrams, the lohite-hearded gentleman, who has been in your 
service, would go up, and the order might be directed to him, and in which case 
I will see him. If I should not see you in person, I will call again at your resi- 
dence to-night, when I can get the order. I am thus explicit because I desire to 
meet promptly my engagements with the Government through Mr. Haskell. 
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


[No. 40.] 

jEFrERSON City, September IG, 18G1. 
Major Gen'l. Fremont : 

Dear Sir — Col. Jeff. C. Davis informs me he wants a large number of mules 
and horses here. I can buy 150 choice mules here, and save the trouble and ex- 
pense to St. Louis, and they shall not cost the Government more than they are 
now paying for choice mules. 

Telegraph me, or write me, immediately, and I will buy them and deliver them 
here to Col. Davis in forty-eight hours. 

Very truly youi's, 

I spoke to General McKinstry in St. Louis, and he promised me refusal to buy 

[No. 41.] 


Jefferson City, Sept. 16, 1861. 
Major General Fremont : 

Col. Jeff. C. Davis informs me he wants mules and horses here. I can buy 
150 choice mules here immediately if you will give me authority, and they shall 
not cost the Government more than they are paying. 

Give me contract by telegraph immediately and I will secure them. Gen. Mc- 
Kinstry referred me to you. 


[No. 42.] 

Jefferson City, Sept. 16th, 1861. 
General McKinstry, Quartermaster, St. Louis : 

Dear Sir — I can buy you 150 choice mules in 48 hours for this post, and 
Col. Davis informs me he wants a large number here, immediately, and has made 
his requisition for them. 

If you will write me or telegraph me to buy them, they shall not cost the Gov- 
ernment more than you are paying for such mules. 

You remember I spoke to you and Gen. Fre'mont, and you promised me the 


Very truly, 



[No. 44.] 

Office Quartermaster General, Western Department, 
St. Louis, 18th September, 1861. 

Sir : 

You will please proceed to Jefferson City, by morning train of the Pacific 
railroad, to inspect a collection of mules, belonging to Major James S. Eollins, 
and to be furnished the United States Government by Mr. L. Haskell. 

To Mr. Blakely. A. Qr. Mr. GenU. 

[No. 45.] 
State of Michigan, ) 

Wayne County, j 

Samuel P. Brady, of Detroit, in said county, being duly sworn, says that he 
is a forwarding and commission merchant, and has been for the last twelve 
years, doing business in said city. That, prior to his engaging in the same, he 
had been for the greater part of his life since manhood a merchant, some of the 
time as Sutler in the U. S. Army, at various posts. That from this fact, and the 
experience thus acquired of the necessities of an army, and the goods and sup- 
plies requisite for military service, as well as from his military connections in 
the U. S. Army and extensive acquaintance with its officers of every grade, depo- 
nent has been regarded by others as having knowledge of army wants, and as an 
expert in military goods and supplies, under the Army Regulations of the United 
States. That deponent is well acquainted with General Justus McKinstry, and 
has been ever since the General's boyhood, when he knew him in Detroit. That 
he has seen him often since he became an officer of the army, and known him 
well; and that deponent has ever regarded said General McKinstry as one of the 
highest toned, most honorable and gallant officers in the service. That some 
time last summer, about the time of General McKinstry's assumption of the 
Quartermaster Generalship at St. Louis, deponent received a request from him 
to ascertain and advise him the prices of certain goods, not then procurable in 
the market of St. Louis, which were wanted in his Department. That General 
McKinstry knew deponent's familiarity with such matters, not only for the 
reasons above given, but by reason of deponent's extensive experience in the 
purchase and furnishing of supplies for the Lake Superior Mining Companies, as 
well as for the general trade of that country; and that he made such requests 
because of deponent's knowledge, and because he believed that deponent would 
act faithfully and scrupulously for the best interests of the U. S. Government 
in any matter with which he might be entrusted. That deponent, in compliance 
with said request, availed himself of a wide acquaintance in the Eastern cities 
to procure, from time to time, the best information of the state of the markets, 
and communicated the same to General McKinstry. That, at that gentleman's 
request, deponent went to St. Louis, to aid him by the purchase of articles not 
readily obtained in the St. Louis market. 

And deponent further says, that he engaged in the purchase for Government 
of certain kinds of army supplies, with which he was familiar, which he furnished 
for a moderate profit, no greater than deponent would have charged in any other 
trade with individuals or corporations, and in many instances at a lower rate, 


and of a better quality, than goods of similar kinds offered by resident wholesale 
merchants of St. Louis. That he so purchased supplies, not as agent for the 
Government, or for General McKinstry, but in his capacity as a merchant. That 
deponent was, if possible, more scrupulously careful in his transactions with 
General McKinstry on account of their friendly personal relations. 

And deponent further says, that General McKinstry had no share or interest 
in any of deponent's transactions with the U. S. Government, (or with General 
McKinstry for the Government,) nor in any of the profits thereof; and that Gen- 
eral McKinstry had no understanding, express or implied, with deponent, 
directly or indirectly, whatever, that deponent should pay to or divide with him, 
or with any relative of his, any profit or interest in any contract or transaction 
which deponent had or might have with the United States, or its Quarter- 
master General, the said McKinstry. And, further, that no sum of money, arti- 
cle or thing was ever paid or given to said General McKinstry, or to any relative 
of his by deponent, or any agent, relative or attorney for him, on account of any 
transaction or contract in General McKinstry's Department between him (or the 
United States through him) and this deponent. 

And this deponent further says, that in his opinion no other man paid General 
McKinstry, or divided with him, any profit in any contract or transaction with 
the Government in said Department, or any bonus or douceur for awarding any 
Government contract, either directly or indirectly ; and, further, that in his 
opinion no man who knew General McKinstry dare approach him with even an 
intimation that he would like to suggest such a thing to him. 

And this deponent further says, that he has had more than ordinary opportu- 
nities for observation in regard to the management of the office of Quartermas- 
ter, having been raised in a garrison, and lived in direct intercourse with the 
army during the better half of his life. That deponent therefore feels competent 
to speak on the subject, and that he can and does say, without reserve or quali- 
fication, that in view of the magnitude of the business necessary to be done in 
the extraordinary exigency of the time, the service could not have been better 
performed by any human being. 

That nothing, in deponent's opinion, but patriotism, and the sternest sense of 
duty, with the most resolute determination to do it fully, could have borne up 
General McKinstry in his ceaseless devotion to the stupendous labors of his 
double office of Quartermaster General and Provost Marshal, by day and by 
night, under the most peculiar and critical circumstances. 

(Signed) S. P. BRADY 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 9th day of May, 1862, at Detroit, in 

said county. 


Notary Public, Wayne County, Michigan. 

The undersigned are well acquainted, and have been for many years, with 

Samuel P. Brady, whose name is subscribed to the foregoing deposition, and 

know him to be a gentleman of the highest character for strict integrity and 


(Signed,) ROSS WILKINS, 

Detroit, May 9th, 1862. LEWIS CASS. 

. y ss. 


[No. 46.] 
State of Missouri, 

County of St. Louis 

Simon Mandlebaum, being duly sworn, says : During the summer and fall of 
1861, I was in the employ of S. P. Brady, Esq., of Detroit, Michigan. He con- 
templated the furnishing of goods and supplies to the Government at St. Louis, 
if he could obtain orders from the Quartermaster. With this view he requested 
me to visit some of the large cities, and ascertain the market prices of such goods 
as are usually purchased by Quartermasters for the Government. 

I complied with Mr. Brady's request and ascertained the market prices of such 
goods. Mr. Brady also telegraphed, in some instances, to his acquaintances East 
to ascertain the market prices of such goods. The prices or values thus ob- 
tained were furnished by Mr. Brady to General McKinstry, and in most instances 
that Mr. Brady furnished goods to the Government at St. Louis, while General 
McKinstry was acting as Quartermaster, the latter knew the prices of the goods 
at the time they were furnished. I made the purchases for Mr. Brady, and his 
instructions to me were to buy the best quality of goods, which I invariably did. 

I further state that, of the whole quantity of goods furnished by Mr. Brady to 
the Government, amounting to about $260,000 in the aggregate, only about one- 
half of the whole amount was furnished under the administration of General 
McKinstry of the Quartermaster's Department at St. Louis. The remainder of 
the goods furnished by Mr. Brady, were furnished to Quartermasters Allen and 


Subscribed and sworn to before me, this Ist day of ' ay, 1862. 

In witness whereof, I have hereto set my hand and notarial seal, 
this day and year last above written. 


Notary Public. 

[No. 48.] 

St. Louis, August 19, 1861. 

Major General John C. Fremont, 

Commanding Department of the West : 

Sir — Referring to the conversation had with you some three weeks ago, by 
one of the undersigned, (Mr. Gurnee,) in relation to army supplies, and to what 
extent such supplies could be furnished at Chicago, with the promptitude re- 
quired for the fitting out of an army, we have to say that Mr. Gurnee, having 
conferred with the principal manufacturers of Chicago, returned to this city pre- 
pared to give satisfactory answers. But learning here that St. Louis claimed a 
portion of the work, he proposed to his associate in their communication (Mr. 
John How) to unite in this proposition, with the understanding that the goods 
should, as far as practicable, be manufactured in Chicago and St. Louis, and in 
equal proportions. 

They now make out and submit to the Commanding General the following 
propositions : 

First, They will furnish, and deliver at any depot or office in Chicago or St. 
LouiSj the goods manufactured in the respective cities, as follows : 



20,000 coats or jackets at rate of 1,500 per week. 

20,000 pairs pants " "1,500 " « 

20,000 drawers " " 1,500 " " 

40,000 flannel shirts " "3,000 " " 

70,000 pairs socks " "5,000 " " 

15,000 overcoats " "1,000 " " 

35,000 pairs bootees or shoes, for Infantry " " 1,500 " " 

5,000 Cavalry boots " " 400 " " 

19,000 caps or felt hats " "2,000 " " 

15,000 knapsacks " " 2,000 " " 

15,000 haversacks " " 2,000 " " 

15,000 canteens " " 2,000 " " 

2,000 horse equipments " " 200 " " 

All the supplies furnished shall correspond to the patterns and samples now 
being made for Government, (unless changed by your order,) and the price to 
be the same at which contracts are now being filled in the principal depots of 
the Quartermaster's Department for the United States, with allowance to us 
when superior articles are required ; and deductions if inferior are delivered, 
we to be notified at the time, if deductions are claimed. 

We will commence the delivery of the goods within twenty days after the 
signing of the contract, and will, as far as practicable, increase the delivery and 
even the amount of goods when required by your Department. 

An early answer is respectfully requested, as the time is short within which 
to supply the Army of the West and have them prepared for the coming winter. 

I recommend this proposal for contract to Major McKinstry. 

Maj. Gen. Commanding. 

[No. 49.] 

Office of Quartermaster TJ. S. A. ) 
St. Louis, Aug. 25, 1861. ) 
Hon. John How : 

Sir — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt at your hands of a propo- 
sition, over your signature and that of W. S. Gurnee, of Chicago, addressed to 
Major General Fremont, commanding Western Department, offering upon certain 
terms to enter into a contract to furnish the Quartermaster's Department with 
certain articles of supplies, pertaining to the equipment of the forces now being 
organized in this city. 

The Commanding General has referred your proposition to me. A reference 
from so high a source makes it an imperative duty on my part to give my reasons 
in detail for declining your proposition. 

They are as follows : The acceptance of your proposition would involve the 
expenditure of at least three fourths of a million of dollars — an enormous 
amount of money to be expended for a public object, without throwing open the 
door to public competition. The business community just now is in that state 
of inactivity where it anticipates and attempts to seize hold of every opportunity 


to obtain employment for both muscle, and machinery and capital, and it nat- 
urally turns to the War Department of the Government for that relief which it 
fails to find among civil affairs. This being the case, this Department will be 
constantly the object of scrutiny and criticism, by those most interested in being 
made aware of the wants of the Government; and the expenditure of so consid- 
erable a sum, without public competition, even if perfectly innocent in itself, 
(of which there might be some slight question,) would provoke unkind and bitter 
feelings, slanderous remarks and publications, and such trouble as you and I 
have both witnessed more than once in relation to Government contracts. 

Neither I, nor any other officer of the Government, be his position or rank 
what it may, has strength enough to stand before the people on such a record, 
and hope to escape the most virulent charges of fraud and corruption. At all 
events, I do not intend to try the experiment, at least until ordered to do so by 
the Government, whose agent I am. 

Let me say, sir, in conclusion, that of course nothing contained in this letter 
was intended as any reflection or criticism upon your motives, or those of Mr. 
Gurnee, in making the proposition referred to, and to add that I am as ever, 
Very respectfully, yours, &c., 

Major and Quartermaster. 

[No. 50.] 

Memorandum for Major- General Freynont. {By J. McKinstry, A. Q. M.) 
The Chief Quartermaster, after careful consideration of the probable wants 
of the large army now being organized under your command, would respectfully 
recommend that he be, ordered to enter into engagements for the immediate 
supply of the following articles, on the following terms, to wit : 

The parties receiving the orders to repair at once to New York, and, after con- 
sultation with the officer of the Quartermaster's Department in charge of the 
clothing depot in that city, and receiving from him samples of the articles re- 
quired, to agree to furnish a sworn list of the prices at which the several articles 
will be furnished, giving in detail the cost of materials and workmanship, the 
same in no case to exceed the ruling market prices, together with a fair mer- 
cantile profit to the contractors. The list or lists to be so prepared as to show 
distinctly and at a glance the several items separately, of the cost of materials, 
the cost and expenses of labor and workmanship bestowed upon them, and the 
profit to be realized by the proposed contractors. 

This appears to the Chief Quartermaster to present a satisfactory and reason- 
ably sure plan for securing the Government against imposition, and at the same 
time providing promptly for the army under your command. Subjoined will be 
found a schedule of the articles required : 


40,000 army overcoats, to be made of the best army material, and in everv 
respect to conform to army regulations and requirements. 

5,000 pairs of cavalry boots, on the same terms and conditions. 

5,000 suits of infantry uniforms, on the same terms and conditions. 

5,000 knapsacks, army pattern. 

5,000 canteens, army pattern. 
10,000 pairs of socks, army pattern. 
10,000 infantry hats, army pattern. 
10,000 pairs army drawers. 
10,000 undershirts, army pattern. 
10,000 pairs army shoes. 


[No. 50J.] 
Assist. Qr. Mr. Gen's. Office, Western Department, ) 
St. Louis, September 19, 1861. ) 
Messrs. Corbett & Kuhn, St. Louis, Mo. : 

What will you furnish the Quartermaster's Department with cavalry equip- 
ments for? The bid to be for complete sets. Please answer immediately, and 
state how many sets you have on hand. 

Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

A. Qr. Mr. Gen. 
H. W. G. Clements, Chief Clerk. 

[No. 5].] 

A. A. Qr. Mr. Gen's. Office, Western Department i 
St. Louis, Mo., September 25, 1861. \ 
Captain : 

I have received your communication of the 23d instant, in reference to pants 
furnished by R. Keiler & Co. You are aware that it was not my wish to pur- 
chase this clothing, and it was done at your urgent request ; that your regiment 
was ingreat need of them. I will thank you to return, per first opportunity, the 
two hundred pairs you refer to. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Brig. Gen. and Qr. Master. 
Capt. R. M. Littler, 2d Iowa Vols., (6 miles below Cairo,) Cairo. 

[No. 52.] 

This agreement, made and entered into, at St. Louis, Mo., on the 5th day of 
July, 1861, between Brevet Major J. McKinstry, Assistant Quartermaster, U. S. A., 
for and on behalf of the United States, of the first part, and John H. Bowen and 
Asa S. Jones, of the city of St. Louis, on the second part, witnesseth : 

That the parties of the second part agree to furnish the party of the first part 
one hundred and seventy-six (176) cavalry horses, one hundred and forty (140) 
artillery horses, and four hundred and twenty-five (425) mules, to be delivered 
at either St. Louis, Mo., or Cairo, 111. The horses to be guaranteed as sound 
and free from all defects whatever, and to be at least fifteen and one half (15^) 
hands high, not more than eight or less than four years old. The mules to be 
not less than fourteen (14) hands high, and ranging in age from four to more 
years, and to be guaranteed as sound and free from all defects. 

And the party of the first part, for and on behalf of the United States, agrees 
to pay, or cause to be paid, to the parties of the second part, at the Quarter- 
master's Ofiice, St. Louis, Mo., at the rate of one hundred and nineteen (119) 
dollars for each horse and mule, which shall bo accepted as agreeing with the 
terms of this contract. 

And it is further agreed by the parties of the second part, that the horses and 
mules, to the number named in this contract, shall be delivered within eight 


days from the date of this contract, and that they shall enter into good and 
suflBcient sureties for the faithful pei-formance of the stipulations before men- 

It is expressly agreed that no member of Congress shall have any share or part 
in, or derive any benefit arising from this contract. 

Witness our hands and seals the day and year before written. 

(Signed in quadruplicate,) J. McKINSTRY, 

Brevet Major, A. Q. M. 

Witnesses : 

H. W. G. Clements, 

R. F. Williams. 

Know all men by these presents, that we, John H. Bowen and Asa S. Jones, 
of the city of St. Louis, State of Missouri, as principals, and T. P. Wheeler and 
F. M. Wood, of the same place, as sureties, are firmly held and bound unto the 
United States in the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, good and lawful 
money, to be paid the said United States, and for the full payment of which said 
one hundred thousand dollars we bind ourselves, our heirs, administrators and 
assigns. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seals this fifth 
day of July, 1861. 

The condition of the obligation and bond is : That whereas the said Bowen 
and the said Jones have contracted with Major J. McKinstry, for and in behalf 
of the United States, to furnish at St. Louis, Mo., or Cairo, 111., to the United 
States, one hundred and seventy-six cavalry horses, and one hundred and forty 
artillery horses, and four hundred and twenty-five mules, at the rate of one 
hundred and nineteen dollars each, in accordance with written contract of date 
of fifth of July, A. D. 1861. 

Now, if said contract be well and truly performed and fulfilled, then this bond 
and obligation to be void and of no force, otherwise of full effect. 


Asa S. Jones, 

Jno. II. Bowen. 

[No. 53.] 

James Neill, of the city and county of St. Louis, State of Missouri, being 
duly sworn, on oath says, that from about the fifth day of August, 1861, he had 
various contracts with the Quartermaster of the Western Department, General 
McKinstry, to furnish horses and mules to the Government ; that never, at any 
time, or in any manner or degree, was General McKinstry interested in said con- 
tracts, or in the profits accruing therefrom, nor did he receive, or expect, or de- 
sire to receive, any reward, profit, or benefit of any kind or nature by reason of 
said contract, or growing out of the same ; that General McKinstry never receiv- 
ed any reward, profit, or benefit, in any manner or form, by reason of awarding 
this affiant any contract whatever, nor did he expect so to do ; that the affiant's 
acquaintance with General McKinstry was made through the Hon. F. P. Blair, 
Jr., who gave to this affiant a letter to General McKinstry endorsing this affiant's 


loyalty and integrity of character. That from that date the affiant commenced 
to do business with said INIcKinstry, and not before ; that all affiant's business 
transactions with said McKinstry have been conducted fairly and honestly, and 
always on the part of said McKinstry with an eye watchful for the interest of 
the Government. And further, this affiant says that the mules claimed by R. 
W. Peay, before the Van Wyck Investigating Committee, to have been sold by 
him direct to General McKinstry, were bought by me of said Peay to fill my con- 
tract with the Government ; and of this said McKinstry had no knowledge what- 
ever, except after this affiant had purchased said mules ; said McKinstry stated 
to said Peay that this affiant had a contract with the Government for mules. 

Sworn to and subscribed before me, a Notary Public, this 17th day of May, 
1862. R. W. HAMILTON. 

[No. 54.] 
State of Missouri, ) 

County of St. Louis. ) 

James B. Neill being duly sworn, says that he never acted as inspector of 
horses or mules for the Government, and was never appointed, or requested, by 
General McKinstry to act as inspector of horses or mules for the Government. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 30th day of May, 1862. 

U. S. Oom'r for Mo. 

[No. 55.] 
State of Missouri, ") 
St. Louis County, j 

Joseph S. Pease, being duly sworn, on oath says : I have examined the Re- 
port of the Congressional Investigating Committee, of which the Hon. C. H. Van 
Wyck is chairman, and the evidence to which it refers. That on the 17th day 
of October, 1861, Robert W. Peay did not hold my note, for a balance due him 
by me on a former transaction; that I was not indebted to him in the sum of 
twenty-five hundred dollars for a balance of account of stock furnished to me, 
or in any other sum or amount at that date ; and that the said Peay, subsequent 
to the giving of his testimony before the Van Wyck Committee, acknowledged 
he was mistaken in this regard. 

And, further, this affiant says, that, as to the sale of mules directly to General 
McKinstry, concerning which said Peay testified, he knows nothing whatever. 
The connection this affiant had with these mules was simply as follows : James 
B. Neill, who had a contract to furnish the Government with mules, desired this 
affiant to become a partner with him, Neill, this affiant furnishing the means, 
merely, to purchase said mules ; affiant and John H. Bowen, being his partner, 
became partners of said Neill on the terms stated. These mules, as affiant after- 
wards understood, were bought of Peay, both from Neill and Peay ; that this 
affiant never passed a word with General McKinstry as to these mules, or in con- 
nection with the contract ; nor did affiant know that Peay had sold these mules 
to Neill, until a bill was presented by Peay to this affiant for the first delivery at 
one hundred and ten dollars per head. Affiant was not prepared to pay for all 


of them at once, but paid Peay twenty-five hundred dollars on account of said 
mules. That soon after this affiant received the Government voucher for said 
mules, three hundred and thirty-six in all, James 0. Broadhead came to affiant, 
as affiant subsequently understood, asthe attorney of Peay, to collect the bal- 
ance due said Peay, and requested the possession of the voucher ; that the only 
reason this affiant hesitated to deliver the voucher into Broadhead's hands, as he 
proposed, in order that the money might be obtained upon it, was that this affiant 
was not then personally acquainted with said James 0. Broadhead, and did not 
know anything about his responsibility; but as soon as this affiant learned that 
he was entirely responsible, he cheerfully deposited said voucher with said 
Broadhead, in order that the money might be collected thereon. That this affiant 
never heard it intimated by Peay, or by any other person, that Peay supposed 
he was selling said mules to the Government direct, until the sitting of the Van 
AVyck Committee ; on the other hand, this affiant supposed, and still supposes, 
that Neill bought these mules of Peay to fill his, said Neill's, said contract, and 
this affiant paid said Peay, under this supposition, the said twenty-five hundred 
dollars, and to other parties who had sold to Peay two hundred and forty dol- 
lars ; that Peay did not receive said twenty-five hundred dollars from this affiant 
on any old account, or from this affiant as agent of the Government, but simply 
as one of the vendees of said mules ; and, in transferring the business to Broad- 
head, the said Peay acknowledged the said sums of twenty-five hundred dollars 
and of two hundred and forty dollars, to be just credits on the account. And, 
further, this affiant says that he is of no kin whatever of General McKinstry, 
either in blood or in law ; that he was interested with John H. Bowen in the first 
contract awarded in the Western Department on public bids for animals, which 
contract was awarded about the fourth of July, 1861; that General McKinstry 
had no interest in the five thousand dollars for which Bowen sold his interest in 
said contract, and received no part of same, directly or indirectly, nor did he 
hold back, or have anything to do with it, to the knowledge, information or be- 
lief of this affiant ; that the testimony of Alexander Kelsey is disposed of by 
himself in a note addressed to the Missouri Republican, January 3d, 1862, of 
which the following is a true copy, viz. : 

"Editor Republican — On reading the published extracts from the Van Wyck 
Investigating Committee, I was surprised to find that an attempt has been made 
to charge Mr. Jos. S. Pease with having obtained money from the Quartermaster 
at St. Louis on a false voucher. The Committee predicate their charge on my 
testimony, given before them in respect to my transactions with Mr. Pease. 1 
wish now to state, as a simple matter of justice to Mr. Pease, that this charge of 
the Committee has no foundation whatever. The Committee have done him a 
great wrong; there is nothing in my testimony before them to justify them in 
making this charge. I did not intend in anything I said before the Committee 
to cast any reflection upon the conduct of Mr. Pease, at the time I signed the re- 
ceipt in the dusk of the evening, mentioned in the Report of the Committee. 
They have only embodied in their Report a garbled statement of my evidence, 
whereas if they had published the whole, it would be seen that my evidence en- 
tirely exonerated Mr. Pease from any dishonest or dishonorable conduct in the 

(Signed,) ALEX. KELSEY. 

St. Louis, December 31, 1861." 


That the testimony of John B. Valle was, also, incorrectly reported, in proof 
of which this affiant inserts herein true copies of cards received by him, from 
the signers, viz : 

"I have examined my evidence, as published by the Congressional Investiga- 
ting Committee, (page 879,) respecting a sale of gunny bags to J. S. Pease, and 
find, in many points, it is not correctly reported. 

(Signed) JOHN B. VALLE. 

St. Louis, April 24, 18G2." 

^'I am salesman for the house of John B. Valle & Co. The sale of gunny 
bags to Mr. Jos. S. Pease was made by me during Mr. Valle's absence. A day 
or two after the sale, after some explanation by Pease, I signed the voucher for 
thirteen hundred dollars, the explanation being perfectly satisfactory to me. 
Pease never made any threats to my knowledge ; nothing unpleasant occurred be- 
tween us during the transaction. I sold the gunny bags at twelve cents to Pease, 
and rendered him a bill for them at that price, and collected the amount of same, 
twelve hundred dollars, in several instalments, as stated in the evidence of Mr. 
Valle. (Signed) WILLIS J. POWELL. 

St. Louis, April 24, 1862." 

And, further, this affiant says that the testimony given by Francis H. G. Haf ke- 
meyer, as to his receiving seventy-nine thousand dollars from the cashier of 
General McKinstry, is false ; that the said Hafkemeyer saw the said cashier pay 
to this affiant, on the third day of October, 1861, fifteen thousand dollars, in one 
thousand dollar packages, of Missouri money, and no more ; that the assertion 
of the said Hafkemeyer as to the agitation of this affiant is also false, and this 
affiant believes it wsfs stated for the vile purpose of intimating what he dared not de- 
clare in words, that the receiving said money was a fraud on the Government ; 
that the assertion of said Hafkemeyer that Genei'al McKinstry had left the city 
is also false. On the same day the said cashier made a further payment to this 
affiant of ten thousand dollars, still leaving the Government largely indebted to 
him for forage and other supplies, for which he was obliged to pay cash, and for 
a considerable amount of which the Government is still indebted to him. Gen- 
eral McKinstry was in his office on the day of the said payments, and they were 
made by his order ; and, further, this affiant says that he has not been in any 
transaction connected with General McKinstry, nor has General McKinstry ever 
received one cent of his profits from Government contracts, or even suggested 
such a thing, nor has he been in any way personally benefited by this affiant's 
contracts with the Government, in any possible manner, directly or indirectly, 
and all charges, assertions, or intimations, that General McKinstry was interest- 
ed or benefited, directly or indirectly, in any way or manner, by this affiant's 
transactions with the Government, are wholly false. 

And, further, this affiant says, that he has read the report of the Commission on 
War Claims at St. Louis, of which the Hon. D. Davis is chairman; that the 
statement therein contained, with regard to this affiant's transactions in tents is 
exaggerated in amount, and gives a false coloring to his motives and manner of 
doing the business ; that he distributed said business among all of the tent-ma- 
kers, seven in number, and received commissions from four of them only ; that 
his understanding with two of them was that their gross prices to him were the 
same as though they had sold direct to the Government, and the commissions 


allowed by the other two, were allowed at the time of final settlement, without 
any previous agreement, and of their own free will ; that he constantly advanced 
money on said tents ; that the payments to tent-makers, in vouchers issued for 
other supplies than tents, were made by their own solicitation, and for their own 
accommodation, their necessities not permitting them to wait the issue of vouch- 
ers for tents particularly ; that in the instance of his having purchased one hun- 
dred tents at twenty-two dollars, they were purchased at the fii'st offer of the 
maker, and far below their mai-ket value ; that this afiiant furnished considera- 
ble numbers of tents at a commission of two per cent., of less than one per cent., 
and without commission ; that in several cases he was compelled to sell vouchers, 
received for tents and other supplies, at a loss ; that of the tents furnished by 
him, considerably less than one-half were furnished upon orders from General 
McKinstry, and that, although permitted to prove his claims, before said Com- 
mittee, he was not permitted to hear the evidence adverse to said claims. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me, at the District of Missouri, on this 1st 
day of May, A. D. 1862. JOHN M. KRUM, 

U. S. Com'r for Mo. 

[No. 56.] 

State of Missouri, ) 

- ss 
County of St. Louis, j 

Thomas M. Blakely, of lawful age, being duly sworn, says that he has been 
in the employ of the Government of the United States for about thirteen years. 
I have been thus employed in the Quartermaster's department as wagon master. 
A large portion of that time I was so employed at Fort Leavenworth, and was or- 
dered, on or about the 10th day of July last, by Captain Van Vleet, to report for 
duty to Quartermaster McKinstry, at St. Louis, and I came to St. Louis accord- 
ingly, and have been in the Quartermaster's employ at St. Louis, and other 
points, ever since. I was so employed at St. Louis in the months of July, Au- 
gust and the early part of September, of the year 1861, and inspected horses 
and mules at St. Louis, for the department, during the months last mentioned. 
I know Robert W. Peay. He had a stock stable on Broadway, in the city of St. 
Louis, called the "Mammoth Stable," at which the Government kept a large 
number of animals, and I generally inspected the animals at that stable. 

In the early part of September, the place of inspection of animals belonging to 
the Government, was removed up to Ashbrook's stable — higher up on Broadway, 
it being more convenient at the latter place. My attention has been called to the 
testimony of said Robert W. Peay, as published in the report of the Van Wyck 
investigating committee, on pages 540, 541, and following, wherein said Peay 
states, in substance, that he sold to Major McKinstry, two hundred and ninety-six 
mules, at $110 a head, and made out the account, and had Blakely, (meaning 
myself,) inspect and brand the mules and give a certificate. In regard to the 
said statement of said R. W. Peay, I state that I never heard or knew of his 
making any such sale of mules to Major McKinstry, or to the Government. I 
remember of inspecting the said lot of mules ; but I did not at any time hearer 
understand that Peay was the owner of said mules, but, on the contrary, James 
B. Neill claimed the said mules, and that he had sold them to the Government. 
I was present at the door, and near the steps of Major McKinstry's office, with 


eaid Peay and said Neill when Major McKinstry directed me to inspect the said 
mules, at the mammoth stable. I did not hear any bargain between Peay and 
McKinstry ; in fact, nothing was said, by any one, about the sale or price of the 
mules I was ordered to inspect. There was no conversation between said parties, 
except that Major McKinstry directed me to inspect a lot of mules at the mam- 
moth stables, and I did as I was directed 


Subscribed and sworn to before me this 28th day of February, 18G2, at St. 

Louis, Missouri. In witness whereof, I have hereto set my hand and notarial seal 

the day and year last above written. 


Notary Public, St. Louis County. 

[No. 57.] 
State of Missouri, 
County of St. Louis, 

John Keller, being duly sworn, says : I have read the testimony of James 
Harkness, as the same appears in the Report of the Van Wyck Committee, and I 
state that all and every part of the testimony of said Harkness, that relates to 
me, or connects me with the transactions he mentions, is untrue — utterly untrue 
in every particular. I never inspected the animals spoken of by said Harkness 
for Flanagan or any one else. I further state that I was not present at all at the 
time and place mentioned by said Harkness; nor did I at any time or on any occa- 
sion say that "we would soon drive the God damned Lincoln horde out of this 
State." I further state that I was recommended to General McKinstry, as qual- 
ified and a suitable person to be appointed inspector, by John J. Roe, merchant, 
and Isaac Rosenfeld, cashier State Savings Institution. I am a veterinary sur- 
geon by profession, and in practice in St. Louis. In all cases, when I inspected 
animals for the Government, I made return of my inspection under oath. 


Subscribed and sworn to before me this 10th day of June, 1862. 

U. S. Com'r for Mo. 

[No. 58.] 
State of Missouri, ) 
County of St. Louis. J 

F. G. Flanagan being duly sworn, says : I have read the testimony of Jamps Hark- 
ness, as the same is reported by the Van Wyck Investigating Committee, p. 535, where 
he speaks of my father's buying a three year old filly for $65, &c. His statement in 
regard to the inspection of said filly by Keller is untrue. The filly in question was 
never sold to the Government, and never was inspected by D. Keller. The whole state- 
ment of said Harkness, in respect to said filly and its inspection is untrue. 


Subscribed and sworn to before me this 13th day of June, 1862. In witness whereof 
I have hereto set my hand and seal the day and year last aforesaid. 


Notary Public 


[No. 59.J 

St. Locns, Sept. 18, 1861. 
Gen. J. McKiNSTRY. 
Dear Sir : 

I learned this morning that you would shortly need a large number of camp kettles 
and mess pans. If they are to be the same size and weight as those now made for the 
army, which are of the best quality of charcoal sheet iron. No. 2G wire guage, I will 
furnish them at following prices, provided the order is given for say 2,000 camp kettles 
and 5,000 mess pans; camp kettles at 42^0 each ; mess pans 27|c each. 
KespectfuUy yours, 


[No. 60.] 

St. Louis, Sept. 19, 1861. 
Gen. J, McKiNSTRY, A. Q. M., U. S. A. 
Deajr Sir : 

I propose furnishing camp kettles and mess pans for the army at the following 
prices : 

Thirteen (13) cents per pound for camp kettles. 
Fifteen and one half (154) cents per pound for mess pans. 
All to be made of best quality of charcoal sheet iron. No. 26 wire guage. 
KespectfuUy yours, 

155 Main street. Box 3,212. 


[No. 61.] 
State of Missouri, 
County of St. Louis 

Charles M. Elleard being duly sworn, says that during the past year he sold 
horses, and also a few mules to the Government of the United States, at St. Louis, 
while Major J. McKinstry was acting Quartermaster at St. Louis. In making my 
sales to the Government I was on a footing with others who sold property to the 
Government. I never, to my knowledge, had any favors shown, or advantages 
given me, over others, by Major McKinstry. He dealt with me, in buying my 
stock, as he did with others, and no partiality was shown to me that I am aware 
of. Major McKinstry was not concerned or interested with me in any of my 
operations with the Government, either directly or indirectly, and ho never shared 
or received, either directly or indirectly, any profits I realized from any of my 
sales to the Government. 

This affiant further states that Major McKinstry never, to my knowledge, 
forced or obliged any one to sell horses to me, and I have no reason to believe 
that he ever did so. This affiant further states that he has no personal acquaint- 
ance with a Mr. Lippincot, who has been spoken of as having been forced or 
obliged by Major McKinstry to sell horses to me, and I have no recollection of 
ever having seen said Lippincot, nor have I any recollection of ever having heard 
of him until I heard his name mentioned in the connection above. 


Subscribed and sworn to before me, at St. Louis, in the District of Missouri, 
this 26th day of April, 1862. JOHM M. KRUM, 

U. S. Com'r for Mo. 


[No. 62.] 
Extract from a letter of General Fremont : 

Wheeling, Va., March 30, 1862. 

General : 


* * * * * * *I was not aware that Mr. Colfax in- 

tended to speak to my case. In making it he spoke upon such information as the pub- 
lished documents and other sources furnished him with. I am sure that his reference 
to you was not in iiny unfriendly spirit. You were charged with acts which you did 
not commit, for the purpose of holding me responsible for them. 

The ground that I have taken is, first, that our acts were, not only undeserving of 
censure, but were intended to and have proved eminently right and useful to the public 
service. But another ground, which I have still more distinctly taken, is, that I assume, 
in the fullest manner, the entire responsibility for the contract. 

I ordered Beard upon it before the contract was made, leaving it to be completed 
afterwards. I ordered money to be paid him in advance, as he required it. When 
afterwards, he brought his contract to me, I directed him to you. You came to me 
personally and informed me that the prices he asked Avere altogether too high. I told 
you to reduce them to what you considered reasonable, leaving him a fair profit, having 
regard to the circumstances under which the works were built and the extraordinary 
labor and expense which he underwent. In regard to the question as to whether or 
not this work belonged to you, or whether or not you objected to it, I have replied that, 
it was properly the work of the Engineer Department, but that under the circumstances, 
you were ordered to attend to it to this extent — that, whether you objected to it or not, 
I do not remember, but whether you did or not, I overruled the objection, and, finally, 
you were not concerned in this contract further than in obeying my positive order to 
make it as above stated. * * * * * * * 

** **** * *'* 

Yours truly, 

Brig.- Gen. J. McKinstry. 


[No. 63.] 

A Letter from a Member of the Cabinet. 

Washington, November 30, 1860. 
My Dear Sir: I am in receipt of yours of the 27th instant, and thank you for 
your kindly allusion to myself, in connection with the fearful agitation that now threat- 
ens the dismemberment of our Government. I think the President's message will meet 
your approbation, but I have little hope that it will accomplish anything in moderating 
the madne=s that rules the hour. The indications are that the movement has passed 
beyond the reach of human control. God alone can disarm the cloud of its lightnings. 
South Carolina will be out of the Union and in the armed assertion of a distinct nation- 
ality, probably before Christmas. This is certain, unless the course of events is arrest- 
ed by some prompt and decided action on the part of the people, and the Legislatures of 
the Northern States, the other slave States will follow South Carolina in a few weeks 
or months. The border States, now so devoted to the Union, will linger a little while, 
but they will soon unite their fortunes with those of their Southern sisters. Conserva- 
tive men have now no ground to stand upon — no weapon to battle with. All has been 
swept from them by the guilty agitations and infamous legislation of ihe North. I do 
not anticipate, with any confidence, that the North will act up to the solemn responsi- 
bilities of the crisis, by retracing those fatal steps which have conducted us to the very 
rink of perdition, politically, morally and financially. 


There is a feeling growing in the free States which says, " Let the South go !" and 
this feeling threatens rapidly to increase. It is, in part, the fruit of complete estrange- 
ment, and in part a weariness of this perpetual conflict between North and South, which 
has now lasted, with increasing bitterness, for the last thirty years. The country wants 
repose, and is willing to purchase it at any sacrifice. Alas, for the delusion of the 
belief that repose will follow the overthrow of the government. 

I doubt not, from the temper of the public mind, that the Southern Statei will be al- 
lowed to withdraw peacefully ; but when the work of dismemberment begins, we shall 
break up the fragments from month to month, with the nonchalance with which we 
bre^k the bread upon our breakfast table. If all the grave and vital questions which 
will at once arise among these fragments of the ruptured Republic can be adjusted 
without resort to arms, then we have made vast progress since the history of our race 
was written. But the tragic events of the hour will show that we have made no pro- 
gress at all. We shall soon grow up a race of chieftains, who will rival the political 
bandits of South America and Mexico, and who will carve out to us our miserable her- 
itage with their bloody swords. The masses of the people dream not of these things. 
They suppose the Republic can be destroyed to-day and peace will smile over its ruins 
to-morrow. They know nothing of civil war. This marah in the desert of the pilgrim- 
age of nations has happily been for them a sealed fountain. They know not as others 
do of its bitterness, and that civil war is a scourge that darkens every fireside, and wrings 
every heart with anguish. They are to be commisserated, for they know not what they 
do. Whence is all this ? It has come because the pulpii and the press, and the cower- 
ing, unscrupulous politicians of the North have taught the peopk that they are respon- 
sible for the domestic institutions of the South, and that they can be faithful to God 
only by being unfaithful to the compact which they have made with their fellow men. 
Hence those Liberty bills, which degrade the statute books of some ten of the free 
States, and are confessedly a shameless violation of the Federal Constitution, in a point 
vital to her honor. We have here presented, from year to year, the humiliating specta- 
cle of free and sovereign States, by a solemn act of legislation, legaUzivg the theft of 
their neighbor's property. I say theft, since it is not the less so because the subject of 
the despicable crime chances to be a slave, instead of a horse or bale of goods. 

From this same teaching has come the perpetual agitation of the slavery questions 
which has reached the minds of the slave population of the South, and has rendered every 
home in that distracted land insecure. This is the feature of the irrepressible conflict 
with which the Northern people are not familiar. In almost every part of the South, 
miscreant fanatics have been found, and poisonings and conflagralions have marked 
their footsteps. Mothers there lay down at night trembling beside their children, and 
wives cling to their husbands as they leave their homes in the morning. I have a bro- 
ther residing in Mississippi who is a lawyer by profession, and a cotton planter, but has 
never had any connection with politics. Knowing the calm and conservative tone of 
his character, I wrote him a few weeks since, and implored him to exert his influence 
in allaying the frenzy of the popular mind around him. He has replied to me at much 
length, and after depicting the machinations of the wretches to whom I have alluded, 
and the consternation which reigns in the homes of the South, he says it is the unalter- 
rable determination of the Southern people to overthrow the Government, as the only re- 
fuge which is left to them from these insupportable wrongs, and he adds : " On the suc- 
cess of this movement depends my every earthly interest — the safety of my roof from 
the firebrand, and of my wife and children from the poison and the dagger." 

I give you his language because it truthfully expresses the Southern mind, which, at 
this moment, glows as a furnace in its hatred to the North because of these infernal ag- 
itations. Think you that any people can endure this condition of things ? When the 
Northern preacher infuses into his audience the spirit of assassins and incendiaries in 
his crusade against slavery, does he think, as he lies down quietly at night, of the South- 


ern homes he has robbed of sleep, and of the helpless women and children ho has ex- 
posed to all the nameless horrors of servile insurrections ? 

I am still for the Union because I have yet a faint, hesitating hope that the North 
will do justice to the South, and save the Republic before the wreck is complete. But 
action, to be available, must be prompt. If the free States will sweep the liberty bills 
from their codes, propose a convention of the States, and offer guarantees which will 
afford the same repose and safety to Southern homes and property enjoyed by those of 
the North, the impending tragedy may yet be averted, but not otherwise. I feel a pos- 
itive personal humiliation as a member of the human family in the events now prepar- 
ing. If the Republic is to be offered as a sacrifice upon the altar of African servitude, 
then the question of man's capacity for self-government is forever settled. The deri- 
sion of the world will henceforth justly treat the pretension as a farce, and the blessed 
hope which, for five thousand years, our race, amid storms and battles, has been hugging 
to its bosom, will be demonstrated to be a phantom and a dream. 

Pardon these hurried and disjoii.ted words. They have been pressed out of my heart 
by the sorrows that are weighing upon it. 

Sincerely, your friend. 

[No. 64.] 

Headquarters, Western Department, ) 
St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 5, 1861. \ 
Special Order, No. 128. 

Captain J. L. Dodds, Assistant Quartermaster, is assigned to duty in this city, 
and will report to Captain P. T. Turnley, Assistant Quartermaster. 

By order of Major-General Fremont. J. C. KELTON, 

Asst. Adft General. 

[No. 65.] 

St. Louis, Mo., April '2Tth, 1862. 
General : 

I cheerfully comply with your request to state my recollection of the man- 
ner in which you examined the charges made by Henry Clapp, last summer, 
against A. B. Ogden, architect of Benton Barracks. The accused and accuser 
were present during the whole of the examination, which took place in your 
office, and was witnessed by several prominent residents of this city. Immedi- 
ately after hearing the evidence of Pond, Clapp's father-in-law, which was to 
the effect that Clapp had told him that he (Clapp) had given Ogden a draft for 
seven hundred dollars as a bonus to secure the contract for roofing Benton Bar- 
racks, you asked Clapp, in your usual tone of voice, if he had at any time given 
Ogden any draft, or money, or other consideration, for the purpose of influencing 
the contract referred to in Pond's evidence, or any other government contract in 
the Western department, and Clapp promptly and distinctly replied in the nega- 
tive. You then asked him if there had been any private understanding between 
Ogden and himself in the matter, to the effect that in case of the contract being 
given to him by Ogden there was to be a division of profits ; and to this question 
he also gave a negative answer. Whereupon you said to him that the charge 
affecting Ogden's character had been extensively circulated in the city, and as he 
had originated it, and afterwards completely exonerated Ogden in the presence 
of a few witnesses, he would be required, as an act of justice to the accused and 


to the Department under your control, to make a written disclaimer, ■which 
could be laid before the public. Upon his demurring to thia condition, you in- 
formed him that he could take his choice — either to sign the required statement 
or go to the military prison ; and at the same time you told him and others in 
the office that, while you were willing and ready on all occasions to investigate 
charges of fraud alleged to have been committed in the Quartermaster's Depart- 
ment here, you were determined not to permit the author of a false charge to go 
entire scatheless. 

Clapp was advised by several friends of his who were present during the exam- 
ination, including his father-in-law, to sign a recantation of the charge made by 
him against Ogden, and he accordingly signed and made affidavit to the follow- 
ing statement : 

" St. Louis, August 23d, 1861. 

Having charged Mr. Ogden, the architect of the Government, with fraud in the 
management of the business entrusted to him by the Quartermaster, I hereby 
revoke the said charge, and relieve him from the same. I hereby swear and 
declare that I am a good loyal citizen of the United States, and will do all that 
is in my power to uphold and protect the same, and that I will not directly or 
indirectly give aid to the enemy in any manner or form. 


I did not, during any part of the examination, witness the boisterous manner 
nor hear the curses which you are represented as having exhibited and uttered 
by Mr. Pond, whose evidence appears in the report of the Commissioners, who 
sat in this city last winter, to examine claims for supplies furnished in the De- 
partment of the West ; and my opinion is that if your conduct and language 
were as violent and profane as they are said to have been by the witness above 
named, they would not have escaped my observation or recollection, for I was 
not more than ten feet from you during the entire examination, and my memory 
is, to say the least, quite equal to the general average. 
Yours, very respectfully, 

WM. R. Mccracken, 

Sec'y of Provost Marshal, 
Brig. Gen, J. McKinstry, U. S. A., St. Louis. St. Louis Co., Mo. 

State of Missouri, ") 
St. Louis County, j 

Wm. R. McCracken, being duly sworn, says that the statements made and 
contained in the foregoing letter subscribed by him are true. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 12th day of May, A. D. 1862. 

Notary Public, St. Louis, Mo. 

[No. 66.] 

St. Louis, Mo., April 29th, 1862. 
General McKinstry : 

Dear Sir — I see that the "War Claim Commission," in their "report," aim 
to convey the idea that great injustice was done to Mr. Clapp in the examination 
at your office, August 23d, 1861, and that the whole proceeding was an outrage 
upon justice. 


An intelligent witness o" the facts — Mr. Bell — engaged in Giles Filley's stove 
store, in a conversation at Benton Barracks with Capt. Dodcls and others, re- 
marked that the impression made upon his mind by vrhat he heard and saw, was 
that "the two (Pond and Clapp) had been reporting a lot of lies, and they were 
very glad to get out of the scrape as easily as possible." 

If I am not mistaken, Col. Lewis V. Bogy was present and saw the whole of it. 

It is a well known fact that great jealously and ill feeling was created among 
a certain few, in consequence of my being placed in charge of the Barracks ; and 
no sooner had the work commenced than rumors of the most malicious kind were 
industriously circulated through the city, to the effect that "I was a seces- 
sionist ;" that "I employed disloyal mechanics in preference to Union men;" 
that '•! was wasting lumber and other Government property;" that "I knew 
nothing whatever of the art of architecture or engineering," and that "I was 
daily robbing the Government." 

The object to have been accomplished by these slanders, as I believe, was to 
shake the confidence of the officers in command, and thereby effect my removal — 
thus making a vacancy which some one of these virtuous and patriotic individ- 
uals could have been prevailed upon to fill. The fact is suggestive, in this con- 
nection, that Chas. 11. Pond, the "injured innocence" who gives such a graphic 
account of his son-in-law's troubles, (Clapp's,) is an architect. This benevolent 
design to relieve me of my labors failed most signally in its execution — hence 
the towering rage of the "sore-heads." I retained my position until the com- 
pletion of Benton Barracks and the numerous buildings connected with the post, 
in spite of the calumny of these men. 

Before this last "inquisition" they have had it all their own way, aa they did 
before the former. The statement in the "Report" that I required of, or sug- 
gested to, any parties furnishing materials that it was necessary to add something 
to their prices for my benefit, is false ; and is on a par with the testimony of Giles 
Filley before the Congressional Investigating Committee, in relation to roof, 
lumber, etc. 

To those desiring correct information of my management of the Government 
work entrusted to my charge, I refer to any and every man who ever furnished 
the Barracks with one dollar's worth of materials of whatever kind, with perfect 
confidence. A. B. OGDEN, 

Architect Benton Barracks. 

. y ss. 


[No. 67.] 

State of Missouri, 
County of St. Louis, 

A. B. Ogden, architect, being duly sworn, says : That at the time the Van 
Wyck Investigating Committee was in St. Louis, having understood that they 
were examining witnesses in regard to the superintendence and building of the 
Benton Barracks at St. Louis, I addressed a letter to said Committee, stating in 
substance, that I was superintendent of the construction of said Barracks, and 
would at any time furnish the Committee with any information or explanation 
in my power in regard to the building of said Barracks. 

Although I was here attending to my duties and easily found, during all the 
time said Committee was at St. Louis, they did not reply to my letter, nor call 


on mc for any information or explanation. I could have explained and rebutted 
many of the representations and statements made (or said to have been made) 
before said Committee, in respect to the construction and superintendence of 
said Barracks. 

I have read what purports to be the evidence of Giles F. Fillcy, before said 
Committee. His statement that a contract (for the roofing) was made with 
Thomson at $i 50, and that he sublet it at $3 50, is untrue. Thomson took the 
contract for roofing at $3 50 per square, and he did not sublet it at all. 

This affiant further states that he was present at the office of General McKin- 
stry at the time the examination took place, that is mentioned in the testimony 
of Chas. H. Pond, as published by the Commissioners on War Claims. The said 
published statement is untrue in all of its most essential particulars. I heard 
and saw all that took place at said examination. On being interrogated, Mr. 
Clapp denied, in the presence of Pond, that he had told Pond what the latter 
said he had. General McKinstry, in a mild tone, requested Mr. Clapp, in the 
presence of his father-in-law. Col. Bogy, Robert Cam-pbell, Judge Cowles, and 
other gentleman in the office at the time, to state all he (Clapp) knew, if he knew 
anything, in respect to any fraud in the superintendence or building of the Ben- 
ton Barracks. Mr. Clapp, in reply, promptly denied that I had ever received any- 
thing from him, and closed by making a written statement, denying what his 
father-in-law reported he had said, which statement he signed and swore to, and 
is the same that is now exhibited to me in connection with the affidavit of Wm. 
R. McCracken. I had full opportunity to observe, and did observe, the manner 
of General McKinstry during said examination ; and, while he was earnest and 
decided in his manner, he used no profane language, of the character attributed 
to him by said Pond. Portions of the evidence, said to have been given by said 
Pond, and publish'^d by said Commissioners, are greatly exaggerated and other 
portions are absolutely untrue. General McKinstry did not attempt or prevent 
Clapp from making any explanation he desired to ; on the contrary. General Mc- 
Kinstry urged him to explain and state all he knew. No soldiers were brought 
in, nor was Clapp forced to sign an oath of recantation. Clapp signed the paper 

I further state that what Pond says in regard to the agreement between W. S. 
King and myself, (p. 648 Com. Rep.,) is untrue. 


Subscribed and sworn to before me this June 2d, 1862. 

U. S. Com'r for Mo. 

State of Missouri, ") 
County of St. Louis, j" 

On the 7th day of April, A. D. 1862, before me, Charles H. Tillson, a Notary 
Public within and for the said county, came A. B. Ogden, who, being by me 
duly sworn, on his oath says : I was the Architect and Superintendent of the 
construction of Benton Barracks. The roofing was awarded to Mr. Almon 
Thomson by Major McKinstry, Quartermaster. The conditions of the contract 
were, that the roof on the Ten Buildings was to be completed in ten days ; that it 
was to be a three ply roof, sand and cement. The roof was completed within 
the time specified in the contract, and, according to the terms of the contract, 



filling all the conditions of the contract. I was on the grounds during the whole 
time and was frequently on the roofs, and each time that I examined the roofs 
they were being put on according to the conditions of the contract. The roofs 
were sound, without material leakage until the time of the Van Wyck Committee 
visiting the city, when numerous persons, claiming to be authorized by said 
Committee, went out to the Barracks and cut numerous holes through them and 
threatened to break up the contract and prevent the work being paid for. These 
persons were unsuccessful bidders for the contract for the roofing. There were 
afterwards between 300 and 400 holes cut through the roof for stove-pipes, also 
a large number of holes for ventilators. These holes were badly protected, they 
were not protected so as to resist the action of the weather. These holes were 
all cut after the contract was completed and the work turned over to the Govern- 
ment. The buildings were changed to accommodate a large number of troops, 
by changing the interior arrangements of the Barracks. This was done by the 
soldiers, and by such changes unequal settings of the buildings might have been 
caused. I was on the premises daily for three months after the completion of 
the roofs, and frequently saw the roofs receiving treatment that was calculated 
to injure the same. All those roofs at the Barracks which were not interfered 
with, such as OfiBcers' quarters. Quartermaster's storehouse. Commissary's store- 
house, bakery, stables, guard-house, &c., were in good condition and not com- 
plained of, and were not defective, being the same kind of roof. The price of 
the roofing was reasonable, and less than I have been in the habit of paying for 
such work. This statement is the same in substance which I made before the 


(Signed,) A. B. OGDEN. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 7th day of April, 1862. 


[No. 68.] 
State of Missouri, 1 
County of St. Louis, ) 

On the 8th day of April, A. D. 1862, before me, Charles H. Tillson, a Notary 
Public within and for said county, came Elisha Jameson, who, being by me 
duly sworn, says; I am a Builder and Superintendent. Was employed by Gov- 
ernment in the construction of Benton Barracks from the commencement to com- 
pletion. I was Assistant Superintendent under Mr. Ogden. I built five of the 
ten barrack buildings, the General's head-quarters, all of the Commissary and 
Quartermaster's storehouses. I was on the premises every day while the roofing 
was being put on, and was on the buildings also while they were being roofed. 
I have had a good many roofs of the kind put on and know what they are. I 
consider the roof at Benton Barracks a good three ply felt cement roof, coming 
up to all the requirements of Mr. Thomson's contract. For two months after 
the completion of the roof I was employed at the barracks, and was about the 
buildings every day and never heard any complaints about the roof during that 
time. The weather was raining during a large portion of the time. If the roofs 
were defective, it is not the fault of Mr. Thomson, the contractor, but from 
damage received by cutting stove pipe holes and ventilators, and the abuse of 
the soldiers since the completion and reception by the Government. The price 
of $3 50 per square allowed by Quartermaster's voucher, is unusually cheap. 


lower than I have ever paid for simihxr work by fifty cents per square. I have 
paid as high as $0 for the same kind of roofing. 


Subscribed and sworn to before me, the 8th day of April, A, D. 1862, as wit- 
ness mv hand and ofiicial seal. 

Notary Public, St. Louis County, Mo. 
I hereby certify that I have carefully examined and compared the within and 
foregoing with the original aiEdavits of Charles 11. Peck, John B. Gibson, Z. T. 
Knott, Henry Kennedy, John Ramsey, and A. B. Ogden and Elisha Jameson ; as 
also the certificates of James O.Broadhead,U. S. District Attorney, R. J. Howard, 
Collector of Customs, F. A. Dick, Esq., and John H.Andrews, Sheriff of St. Louis 
county, contained therein, and find that they are true and exact copies of such 
original affidavits and certificates. 

Witness my hand and ofiicial seal, this 17th day of April, 1862. 

Notary Public, St. Louis County, Mo. 

[No. 60.] 
Almon Thomson, of the city and county of St. Louis, State of Missouri, being 
duly sworn, says : That the insinuation contained in the report of the Board of 
Commissioners for the Adjudication of Claims against the United States in the 
Western Department, that this affiant was in any way the " favorite " of Gen. 
McKinstry in letting the contract for roofing Benton Barracks, or in any other 
way, is wholly false and untrue, and is unsupported by any fact whatever, and 
is'simply a statement entirely unwarranted and gratuitous by that Hon. Board. 
That said McKinstry, instead of having or exhibiting any partiality toward this 
affiant, was always, in the opinion of this affiant, unnecessarily severe and exact- 
ing. That the affiant took no measures whatever to obtain said contract for 
roofing Benton Barracks other than filing his bid, which was three dollars and 
fifty cents per square. 

The alleged "favoritism" may, perhaps, be seen in this fact, that on Friday 
General McKinstry announced to this affiant that said contract was awarded to 
him, and that this affiant would be required to perform his work in ten days from 
that time ; that affiant commenced immediately to remove his roofing material, 
from the 'city of St. Louis to said barracks, a distance of about three miles. 
That late on Saturday following. Gen. McKinstry annulled said contract, on the 
ground that a lower proposition had been received subsequent to said awarding . 
that this affiant made no complaint, but made immediate preparation to bring 
back his said material ; that on the Monday following said McKinstry announced 
to this affiant that he should look to him to perform said work according to con- 
tract, that said lower bidder did not appear to be responsible. That thereupon 
affiant went on in the most expeditious manner and roofed the said barracks, 
working night and day until the same Avas completed, and did the job in a good, 
substantial, workmanlike manner, and in accordance with said contract. That 
at the time said contract was awarded, affiant had exclusive control of the mate- 
rial in the city of St, Louis necessary to the perfoi-ming such said contract. 
That Gen. McKinstry, or any other for him, or any person connected with the 
Quartermaster, had no interest whatever of any kind in said contract or grow- 


ing out of the same, or of any contract with which this affiant has ever been 
connected. That General McKinstry, or any person for him, or any person in 
any way connected with the Quartermaster's Department, did never receive any 
reward, profit, or benefit, directly or indirectly, by reason of or growing out of 
said contract, or any other contract of affiant's in any way whatever, nor was 
any such reward, profit, or benefit ever expected or ofl'ered. That any insinua- 
tion or statement to the contrary of the foregoing, whether made by said Hon. 
Board of Commissioners, or any other person, is unqualifiedly false. That the 
statement made by this affiant concerning one Clapp, testified to by one Pond as 
having taken place on the examination of said Clapp before said McKinstry, was 
simply this (and not said in a whisper), that said Clapp had stated to the affiant 
he wanted work on said barrack roof. To which affiant replied that he, Clapp, 
could get plenty of work. Clapp responded that he could hot unless he took the 
oath of allegiance to the Government, which he never would do. This was sub- 
stantially what I told McKinstry at said time, testified to by said Pond before 
said Hon. Board, and by said Hon. Board made mention of in their said Report. 
And this affiant further says that he never testified before the Congressional Van 
Wyck Investigating Committee that five thousand dollars in gold was left, or to 
be left, with McKinstry, (said five thousand dollars being the amount due John 
Bowen for the sale of horse contract to one Wheeler). Ist. There was no gold 
paid by the Government at all. 2d. On the day of settlement with the Quarter- 
master, said BowcH was present, the amount due him was then settled upon, but 
as it took a long time for said IMcKinstry to endorse the Treasury notes which 
were to be paid us, and it was near night, this affiant agreed with Bowen to leave 
five thousand dollars in the Quartei-master's office for him, he, Bowen, wishing 
to go away on other business, which was accordingly done. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 23d day of May, 18G2. 


Notary Public. 

[No. 70.] 
State of Missouri, 
County of St. Louis. 

On this fifth day of April, A. D., 1862, before me, Charles H. Tillson, a No- 
tary Public, within and for said county, personally came Charles H. Peck, who, 
being by me duly sworn, says that he has resided in the city of St. Louis for the 
last twenty-two years ; is, by profession, an architect and master builder, and 
has been largely engaged in building during most of said time. " I am acquaint- 
ed with Benton Barracks, built near St. Louis, in the fall of 1861 ; I am well ac- 
quainted with the roofing, put on said Barracks by Mr. Thomson, for the Govern- 
ment, having made two separate special examinations of it. 

The first examination was during the fall of 1861, about the 1st of October. 
There were other architects and builders who made the examination with me. 
They were : John B. Gibson, Z. T. Knott, and Henry Kennedy. From my ex- 
amination, I considered it a first-rate felt cement sand roof, a good job of the 
kind. I examined it particularly, to find if it was a three-ply roof ; gave it a 
thorough examination. In fully eight-tenths of the places, I found that it was 
hr ee-ply ; in some places four-ply, and, occasionally, two-ply. I consider it a 


three-ply roof. I considered that there was sufEcicnt cement. We went over 
each of the ten barracks buildings. The causes of leakage, and other defects, 
were, firstly, the roof was originally too flat, the ground was soft, on a wet lo- 
cation, and the barracks being temporarily constructed, settled unevenly in some 
places, settling so much in the centre as to leave the roof almost level. The roof 
had been very much abused. There were hundreds of holes cut through it for 
stove pipes and ventilators, varying in size from ten to twenty inches in diameter, 
ter, some of which were wholly unprotected, and none of which were properly pro- 
tected against the weather. This, in my judgment, was enough to ruin the roof. 
We went on the roofs of the officers' quarters and store-houses, having the same 
kind of roofing, but the buildings being more substantial, and the roof not hav- 
ing been interfered with, by cutting of holes or otherwise, we found them in good 
condition, and knew of no complatnts of their leakage. The price of three dol- 
lars and a half a square was cheaper than I ever had any work of the kind done, 
and I considered it a cheap price. 

I made a second examination of this roof during the sittings of the Commis- 
sion for the adjustment of claims against the United States, of which the Hon. 
David Davis was President, and I was confirmed in my previous judgment con- 
cerning the roof. In my opinion, the imperfections in the roof were not the 
fault of the roofer and contractor, Mr. Thomson. I stated, substantially, these 
facts before the Commission, and make them again, at this time, at the request of 
Mr. Thomson. 


Subscribed and sworn to before me this 5th day of April, 1862, as witness my 
hand and official seal, at my office in St. Louis, aforesaid. 

Notary Public, St. Louis county, Mo. 

[No. 71.] 
State of Missouri, ") 
County of St. Louis, j 

On this 5th day of April, A. D., 1862, before me, Charles H. Tillson, a Nota- 
ry Public, within and for said county, came John B. Gibson, who, being by me 
duly sworn, says that he has read the statement made in the foregoing affidavit 
of Charles H. Peck, and fully concurs with him in his statements ; that he has 
been an architect and builder, in St. Louis, for the last twenty-five years, and is 
well acquainted with the roof put on Benton Barracks, by Mr. Thomson, and 
made the examination with Mr. Peck, that none of the leakage or defects of the 
roof are traceable to the fault of the roofer and contractor, Mr. Thomson. The 
roof was a good three-ply roof, and the price charged was cheaper than I have 
always paid, and cheaper than usual. He appeared before the Commission re- 
ferred to by Mr. Peck, and made before them substantially the same statement 
which he now makes. 


* Subscribed and sworn to before me the day and year aforesaid, as witness my 
hand and official seal. CHARLES H. TILLSON, 

Notary Public. 


[No. 72.] 
State of Missouri, ) 
County of St. Louis. ) 

On this 5th day of April, 1862, before me, Charles H. Tillson, a Notary Public 
within and for said county, came Z. T. Knott, who, being duly sworn by me, says 
that he has read the statement of IMr. Charles H. Peck, and concurs with him in 
his statement that the roof on Benton Barracks was a good three-ply roof, and 
that the price of three dollars and a half a square was unusually cheap, less 
than he has ever had such work done, or known it to be done. If there was 
any fault in the roof, in his opinion, it was not chargeable to Mr. Thomson, the 
contractor. Ho is a builder and superintendent, and has been such, in St. Louis, 
for the last twenty years. lie was with Messrs. Peck, Gibson, and Kennedy, 
when they made their first examination. This is, in substance, what he stated 
before the Commission. 


Subscribed and sworn to before me this 5th day of April, 1802, as witness my 
hand and official seal. CHARLES H. TILLSON, 

Notary Public. 

[No. 73.] 
State of Missouri, ^ 
County of St. Louis. \ 

On this 5th day of April, 18G2, before Charles II. Tillson, a Notary Public^ 
within and for said county, personally came Henry Kennedy, who, being by me 
duly sworn, says that he has been a builder and architect, in St. Louis, for the 
last twenty years : that he made a thorough examination of the roof of Benton 
Barracks in company with Messrs. Peck, Gibson, and Knott ; that he has read 
the affidavit of Mr. Charles H. Peck, in relation to that roof, and fully concurs 
with Mr. Peek in his statement, with this exception, that he has had the same 
kind of work done at the same price, but never cheaper, and that was a job of 
Government work ; that he is satisfied that anj^ leakage or defect which may 
have appeared in the roof was not the fault of Mr. Thomson, the contractor, but 
was owing to the causes stated by Mr. Peck ; that the roof was a good three-ply 
roof, and done for a price cheaper than such work is generally done here, and is 
as good a roof of the kind as I ever saw, and is the right kind of a roof for such 
buildings as the Barracks. I have paid, for just such a roof, as high as five dol- 
lars a square. This is substantially the same statement which I made before the 
Commission. HENRY KENNEDY. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 5th day of April, 1862, as witness my 
hand and official seal. CHARLES H. TILLSON, 

Notary Public. 

[No. 74.] 
State of Missouri, ) 
County of St. Louis. ) 

On this 5th day of April, A. D., 1862, before mo, Charles H. Tillson, a No- 
tary Public, within and for said county, came John Ramsey, who, being by me 
duly sworn, on his oath, says that he has, for the last twelve years, been a su- 
perintendent and builder, in the city of St. Louis ; that he is well acquainted 


with the job of roofing on Bonton Barracks ; that he examined it thoroughly, in 
company with Messrs. Peck and Gibson, and walked over almost the entire roofing 
of the buildings at the Barracks, on the 21st of January, 1862, with a view of 
inspecting and examining the roof as to its construction. He found it a good 
three-ply felt roof, and in no place that he examined did he find it less than three- 
ply. He found numerous holes made in the roof since it had been put on ; half 
of the length of one Barracks had sixty-one holes cut in it, for purposes of stove 
pipes, ventilation, and other purposes, of which number thirty-five were unpro- 
tected, and all of them liable to leak. He found leaks at some of the eaves or 
porches, caused by the water from the eave running back on the lower side of 
the sheeting, the roof being so flat, and in some places lowest next to the build- 
ing, which might have been prevented by the carpenter putting on a strip three 
or four inches wide before roofing. This leakage was not caused by any fault in 
the roof, but in the construction of the building at the eaves. He states that at 
no other place did he see evidences of leakage, except where the holes had been 
cut in the building. He states that the price was a low one for the job. He never 
had such roofing put on at less than four dollars a square, of one hundred super- 
ficial square feet. He states that this is, in substance, what he stated before the 
Commission. He states that he did not see any defect or leakage which was the 
fault of Mr. Thomson, the contractor, or roofer. JOHN RA^ISEY. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 5th day of April, 1862, as witness my 
hand and official seal. CHARLES H. TILLSON, 

Notary Public. 

I hereby state that Charles Peck, John B. Gibson, Z. T. Knott, Henry Ken- 
nedy, and John Ramsey, are old residents of the city of St. Louis of the highest 
respectability and character ; that they rank amongst the foremost of their pro- 
fession as architecLs and master builders ; as men of veracity, their statements 
may be implicitly relied upon, and their judgment in reference to the matters em- 
braced in the claim of Mr. Thomson is worthy of the highest confidence. 
St. Louis, April 9, 1802. JOS. 0. BROADHEAD. 

I am personally acquainted with all the parties spoken of by Mr. Broadhead, 
and fully concur in the opinion expressed by him. 


I have implicit confidence in the integrity and ability of Messrs. Peck, Gibson 
and Kennedy, from personal knowledge of them, and rely upon their statements 
as correct. p. A. DICK. 

I hereby certify that I am personally acquainted with Charles H. Peck, John 
B. Gibson, Z. T. Knott, Henry Kennedy, and John Ramsey, who have made the 
foregoing affidavits. They are amongst our most respectable citizens, and stand 
at the head of their profession as architects and builders. Their statements are 
entitled to the fullest credence, and their opinions and judgments in relation to 
the matters in which they have testified, in my judgment, should be implicitly re- 
lied upon. Having been for many years engaged in the lumber business in this 
city, I have had excellent opportunities of knowing these gentlemen, and of es- 
timating the value of their statements. JOHN H. ANDREWS, 

Sheriff of St. Louis county, xMo. 


INo. 75.J 
State of I\Iissouri, } 
County of St. Louis. ) 

Almon Thomson, being duly sworn, says : My attention has been called to the 
report of my testimony, p. 641 of the report of the Van Wyck Committee. My testi- 
mony as given before that Committee is not truly reported, it is garbled and misstated 
in several particulars, and especially what _is reported on the page above in regard to 
the service ot silver plate. 

No threat was ever made to me by anj^ one that if I did not subscribe I would have 
trouble in getting my dues from the Government, nor did I so state before said Com- 
mittee. What I did state was, that I was told that it would be for my interest to sub- 
scribe, and that it would probably facilitate the collection of my claims. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 12th day of June, 1862. 

U. S. Com'r. for Mo. 

[No. 7G.] 

St. Louis Arsenal, July 5, 1861. 
Gen. Thomas, Adjutant- Gen., Washington: 

Gen. Lyon is moving down from Boonville towards Springfield, Greene county, 
Mo., with 2,400 troops. Major Sturgis is on the Avay from Fort Leavenworth with 
2,200. There are 3,500 on the south-west branch of Pacific Kailroad and the line thence 
to Mount Vernon, beyond Springfield. In a day or two another regiment will be 
moved down. There is a depot for supplies at Rolla, the terminus of the Southwest 
Branch ; another must be established at Springfield. All the supplies, say 10,000 
troops, must take that direction. From Rolla, on for sixty miles, the country is moun- 
tainous and barren. Teams have to take their own forage. It is absolutely necessary 
that a large amount of wagon transportation should be immediately provided. Will j'ou 
see that tlie necessary orders are given by the Quartermaster-General, by telegraph, to 
Major McKinstry, early in the morning'? General Lyon urges that regular Quarter- 
masters and Commissaries be sent him at once. 

A. A. G. Mo. Vol. 

[No. 77.] 

Headquarters South-West Expedition, ) 
Sir: Springfield, Mo., July 13, 1861. 5 

I arrived at this place early this evening, two or three hours in advance of my troops, 
who are encamped a few miles back. I have about 5,000 men to be provided for, and 
have expected to find stores here, as I have ordered. The failure of stores reaching 
here seems likely to cause serious embarrassment, which must be aggravated by con- 
tinued delay, and in proportion to the time I am forced to wait for supplies. * * 
* * * * * * I shall endeavor to take every due precau- 
tion to meet existing emergencies, and hope to be able to sustain the cause of the Gov- 
ernment in this part of the State. But there must be no loss of time in furnishing me 
the resources I have herein mentioned. I have lost in reaching this place about four 
days' time, by the high waters in Grand and Osage Rivers, which made it necessary to 
ferry them. The same difficulty prevented Sturgis from co-operating with Sigel in 
time to afford any aid. Please telegraph to McClellan and to Washington anything in 


this letter you deem of importance to these headquarters. Shoes, shirts, blouses, &c. 
are much wanted, and I would have you furnish tlieni, if possible, in considerable 

quantities. Yours truly, 

N. LYON, Brig. -Gen. Coma'g. 
Col. Chester Hakding, St. Louis Arsenal. 

Copy of the following was sent to Assistant Adjutant General at "Washington, to 
Gen. Fre'mont, New York, and to Col. Blair, Washington : 

Springfield, Mo., July 13, 1861. 
My effective force will soon be reduced by discharge of three months volunteers to 
about 4,400 men, including the Illinois regiment now on the march from Eolla. Gov . 
Jackson Avill soon have in this vicinity not less than 30,000. I must have at once an 
additional force of 10,000 men or abandon my position. All must have supplies and 

N. LYON, Brig. -Gen. Cornel' g. 

Springfield, Mo., July 27, 1861. 
Jo Col. C. Harding, St. Louis Arsenal, Mo. 
Dear Sir : 

I have your notes about matters in St. Louis, &c., and your proceeding seems to 
me perfectly correct. Now that matters North seem more quiet, cannot you manage to 
get a few regiments this way 1 I am in the deepest concern on this subject, and you 
must urge this matter upon Fremont as of vital importance. These three months' vol- 
unteers will re-enlist if they could be paid, but they are now dissatisfied, and if troops 
do not replace them, all that is gained may be lost. I have not been able to move for 
Avant of supplies, and this delay will exhaust the term of the three months' men. Cannot 
something be done to have our men and officers paid, as well as have our purchases 
paid for. If the Government cannot give due attention to the West, her interests 
must have a corresponding disparagement. Yours trul}^ 

N. LYON, Brig. -Gen. Cornel' g. 

Headquarters Western Department, ) 
St. Louis, Aug. 13, 1861. ) 

Hon. Thomas A. Scott, 

Assistant Secretary of War. 
Dispatch received. Our soldiers are not promptly paid, partly from the small 
force of Paymasters, more from want of money, which fatally embarrasses every branch 
of the public service here. I require this week three millions for Quartermaster's De- 
partment. J. C. FREMONT, 

Major- General Commanding. 

[No. 78.] 

Extract from a letter of Hon. M. Blair, Postmaster, to Gen. Fre'mont : 

"Washington, July 26, 1861. 
Dear General : 

I have two telegrams from you, but find it impossible now to get any attention 
to Missouri or Western matters from the authorities here. You will have to do 
the best you can, and take all needful responsibility to defend and protec*^^ the 
people over whom you are specially set. 


Yours truly, and in haste, 



[No. 79.] 
Extract from a letter of Hon. M. Blair to Gen. Fre'mont : 

Washington, Aug. 24, 1861. 
Dear General ; 


I write now, to-daj, in reply to j^our letter about Meigs, that you must not 
suppose that he intended by his telegram to Turnley to reflect upon you. Far 
from it. I happened in the office when he opened Turnley's requisition, and re- 
marked to me, substantially, what he telegraphed to Turnlej^ But he did not 
know that Tui-nley had any instructions from you to get horses of any superior 
quality. No such suggestion accompanied the requisition, and I will guarantee 
that if Turnley makes any explanation, which puts the responsibility on you, it 
will be satisfactory to Meigs. 

I say this without having seen him at all since the receipt of yours on the 

subject ; but I think I understand him fully. I heard him say to General Scott 

some time ago, that if he would name a day when he must have horses they 

should be ready. "If next week, they would "cost $150; if the week after, $125. 

The price was nothing. The horse might bo worth the price many times to the 

Government, if ready when wanted, and of course of no value if not." This is 

the style of man he is, and you will have, and I believe have not had any delay 

or difficulty from him. The trouble is elsewhere. Chase has more horror of 

seeing Treasury notes below par than of seeing soldiers killed, and therefore 

has held back too much I think. I don't believe at all in that style of managing 

the Treasury. It depends on the war, and it is better to get ready and beat the 

enemy by selling stocks at 50 per cent, discount than wait to negotiate and lose 

a battle. 

**** * **** 

Yours truly, M. BLAIR. 

[No. 80.] 

Quartermaster General's Office, > 
Washington, August 28, 1861. ) 
To the Hon. F. P. Blair, St. Louis, Mo.: 

Dear Colonel — Your brother, the Postmaster General, has handed me your let- 
ter of the 21st August. I asked him to let me have it, that I might, by a few woid.'!, 
strengthen your hands and General Fre'mont's, and disabuse both him and you of some 
errors which ma}^ give trouble. 

If there is any difficulty in the Quartermaster's department of Missouri, the blame 
does not rest here. All requisitions have been promptly met here, and the officers have 
been instructed to spare no effort and no means of this Department in aiding, to the ex- 
tent of their power. General Lyon's movements. There may be reasons of time, of 
quality, which induce a General to order a purchase at a higher rate ; and while I com- 
municated to the Quartermaster as to the ruling prices of horses, the market rates, I 
called upon the Treasury to send all the money he asked for. 

Tell General Fre'mont that no man more than myself desires to sustain him ; no one 
is more ready to take the responsibility to as ist him, and that he has, in my opinion, 
already the power which you say ought to be conferred upon him by the President. 
Whatever a General commanding orders, the subordinates of his staff are by regula- 
tions, compelled to do, if possible. 


The General is charged with saving the country. The country will be very careful 
to approve his measures, and will judge his mistakes, if any, very tenderly, if success- 
ful. Success crowns the work, and let him spare no responsibility, no effort, to secure 
it. All the requisitions for money in Missouri have been promptly passed through this 
office. The delay, if any has occurred, is at the Treasury Department, which has al- 
lowed the Department to fall in debt in Cincinnati and Philadelphia, each about a mil. 
lion of dollars, for clothing and camp equipage. 

There are wagons making in Cincinnati, which Captain Dickinson will send to St. 
Louis, if wanted. Those made at Milwaukee I ordered to St. Louis long ago. A num. 
her of wagons are ordered to be made in St. Louis, and authority giv"en to Major Mc- 
Kinstry to provide all that might be required for moving the armies of that Department. 

In regard to advertising and delivery, the law of 1861, and the regulations, expressly 
provide that in case of public exigencies, supplies are to be bought in open market, or 
between individuals. Exercise this power. Moreover, advertisements or public notice, 
do not require postponing opening of bids for a month, or a week, or two days. If for- 
age, wagons, or horses, are wanted, the law, the necessity, are fully met by putting a 
notice in the papers, and purchasing as fast as offers come in. The next day, or the 
same day, take the then lowest bidder, or the then most advantageous offer. The day 
after, you will have a still better offer ; take that for a portion of your supplies, and so 
on till you have all you need. By this system I have brought down the price of horses 
from $128 to $120; of wagons from $111 to $108 since 1 came here, and have got abun- 
dant supplies. 

These explanations will, I hope, remove many difficulties from the way of our armies 
in Missouri. Count upon me as ready to aid in what 1 believe the righl, cheap, stra- 
getic, statesmanlike mode of conducting the war — that which, I am sure, the people 
desire, and the want of which they censure — the most rapid possible concentration of 
overwhelming forces by the United States. 

Yours, very truly, 


[No. 81.] 

State of Missouri, ) 

^ I ss. 
County of St. Louis. ) 

John H. Bowen being duly sworn, says that during the year eighteen hun- 
dred and sixty-one, and while General J. McKinstry was Quartermaster at St. 
Louis, I sold to the Government of the United States, property of different kinds, 
for the use of the army ; and for the property I sold to the Government, I re- 
ceived Quartermaster's vouchers, many of which were proved up before the Claim 
Commissioners at St. Louis. I further state that General McKinstry had no con- 
cern, or interest, whatever, either directly or indirectly, in any of my transac- 
tions with the Government, and he never, to my knowledge or belief, ever ex- 
pected, or received, any benefit, or pecuniary advantage, out of any sale that I 
made to the Government aforesaid ; and no suggestion, or intimation, either di- 
rectly or indirectly, was ever made to me by any one that General McKinstry ex- 
pected to receive any thing from me, on account of any transaction I had with 
the Government, and certainly he never did received any thing. 

In respect to the $5,000, alleged to have been retained and paid to me by Gen- 
eral McKinstry, I state that, after I sold out my interest to Wheeler, in the con- 
tract of Mr. Jones and myself, to furnish horses to the Government, I requested 
Mr. Hahn, cashier of General McKinstry, to retain $5,000 for me, when pay- 
ment on that contract should be made — that the party to whom I had sold my 


interest would understand it, and assent to it. General McKinstry knew noth- 
ing of it, so far as I know, and did not pay me the $5,000, and had nothing to 
do with it. The arrangement made by me with Mr. Hahn was simply a matter 
of convenience to me, as I did not expect to be present when payment on the 
horse contract would be made. JOHN H. BOWEN. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 2d day of June, 1862. 

U. S. Com'r for Mo. 

[No. 82.] 

State of Missouri, ") 

^ ss 
County of St. Louis, j 

Joseph W. Parish, being duly sworn, says : I reside at Peoria, Hlinois ; that 
in the fall of the year 1861 I received an order or requisition from General J. 
McKinstry, Chief Quartermaster at St. Louis, to purchase horses for a regiment 
of cavalry being recruited at Peoria, which regiment was subsequently called 
the '^McKinstry Guards." At the time I received said order, I agreed to fur- 
nish said horses at the price or sum of one hundred and ten dollars, each. Under 
that order I furnished eleven hundred and fifty-eight horses, and received from 
the Post Quartermaster at Peoria a voucher for said horses, which was after- 
wards approved and endorsed by Major R. Allen, Chief Quartermaster at St. 

I further state that General McKinstry had nothing to do with the organiza- 
tion of said regiment, otherwise than to give the order aforesaid for the purchase 
of said horses. I further state that General McKinstry did not receive, either 
directly or indirectly, any benefit or advantage, nor does he expect to receive, or 
any one for him, any benefit or advantage whatever, on account of my said sale 
of horses to the Government. 


Subscribed and sworn to before me this 2l8t day of May, 1862. 

U. S. Com'r for xMo. 

[No. 83.] 

State of Missouri, ) 

> gg^ 

County of St. Louis. ) 

David D. Chandler being duly sworn, says that he is a member of the firm 
of J. B. Sickles & Co., engaged in the saddlery and harness business, in the city 
of St. Louis, Mo. During several years last yast, said firm has endeavored to 
obtain contracts, or orders, with the Quartermaster at St. Louis to furnish the 
Government with articles manufactured and kept for sale by said firm ; but not 
until the summer of the year 1861, could said firm obtain any contract or orders 
for furnishing such articles to the Government. I further state that about the 
month of May, 1861, and while General J. McKinstry was chief Quartermaster 
at St. Louis, said firm of J. B. Sickles & Co. obtained an order to furnish such 
supplies to the Government, and thereafter said firm continued to furnish such 
supplies to the Government during the remainder of the time that General Mc- 
Kinstry acted as chief Quartermaster at St. Louis. I further state that all the 


good furnished by said firm to the Goverument, during the time Genei'al McKin- 
sti'y acted as Quartermaster, were of the very best quality, and he, in every in- 
stance, made a very rigid examination of the goods, and would not receive any- 
thing that was not of the proper quality and description requircdfor the service. 
During the time General McKinstry acted as Quartermaster said firm of J. B. 
Sickles & Co. furnished goods to the Government, to the amount of about $125,- 
000, and on all of which said firm only received a fair mercantile profit. And 
I further state that said firm never had any understanding or agreement with 
General McKinstry by which he was to receive any profit, or advantage, from the 
sales of said firm to the Government, nor did General McKinsti-y, or any one for 
or in his behalf, ever receive, either directly or indirectly, any benefit or advan- 
tage from the sales of said firm to the Government. 


Subscribed and sworn to before mo, this IGth day of May, A. D., 1862. 

U. S. Com'r for Mo. 

[No. 84.] 
State of Missouri, ") 
County of St. Louis, j 

John K. Field, being duly sworn says : That he is a member of the firm of 
Field Brothers, of St. Louis, dealers in cloths and furnishing goods. This afliant 
says that in 1801, and during the time that General J. McKinstry was chief 
Quartermaster at St. Louis, the firm of Field Brothers sold cloths and blankets 
to the Government, amounting in the aggregate to over one hundred thousand 
dollars, which goods were sold at a time when there was a great and very press- 
ing demand in this Department for clothing and blankets, and at a time too when 
the Government was buying almost exclusively on credit, no funds having^been 
provided or furnished the Quartermaster for such purpose, and for the goods 
sold by Field Brothers they only realized a fair mercantile profit. This afiiant 
further says, that in all the sales made by said firm. General McKinstry was 
diligent and careful in examining the goods and requiring that they should be of 
the best quality suitable for the service, that could be obtained in this market. 
This affiant further states, that Gen. McKinstry never received or realized, either 
directly or indirectly, any profit or advantage whatever from or on account of 
anv of the sales made by said firm of Field Brothers. 


Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 21st day of May, 18C2. 

U. S. Com'r. for Mo. 

[No. 85.] 

State of Missouri, ) 

^ y ss. 
County of St. Louis, j 

Anzyl Phillips, being duly sworn, says : That during the year 1861, and 
while General J. McKinstry was acting Quartermaster at St. Louis, I made sales 
to the Government of horses and mules, and received from Gen. McKinstry 
Quartermaster's vouchers for the stock I sold to the Government, and a portion 
of said vouchers were filed and proved up before the Commissioners of Claims, 


composed of Messrs. Davis, Holt and Campbell. This affiant further states that 
Gen. McKinstry had no interest or concern, either directly or indirectly, in any 
contract or dealing that I had with the Government. My business and transac- 
tions with the Government were conducted openly and in the ordinary manner 
of such transactions, and Gen. McKinstry simply attended to the interests of the 
Government, without having any concern or interest whatever in my transactions. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me, in the District of Missouri, this 8th day 
of xMay, A. D. 1862. JOHN M. KRUM. 

U. S. Com'r. forMo. 

[No. 86.] 
State of Missouri, "^ 
County of St. Louis, j 

James F. Foss, being duly sworn, says : That during the year 1861, I was 
clerk in the Planters' House, in St. Louis, and am still so employed. I remember 
D. Pratt, who gave evidence before the Van Wyck Congressional Committee. Said 
Pratt was a boarder at the Planters' House during the fall of 1861, but as he failed 
to pay his board bills he was turned away from the House. I further state that at 
no time during the year 1861 did Gen. McKinstry have rooms or lodgings at the 
Planters' House. He had his own house in the city, and he and his family occu- 
pied it. The statement of said Pratt, before said Committee, in regard to Gen. 
McKinstry's having lodgings at the Planters' House is wholly unfounded. 


Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 28th of May, A. D. 1861. 

• U. S. Com'r. for Mo. 

[No. 87.] 

State of Missouri,? 

' > ss. 
County of St. Louis. > 

P. A. Child and Elon G. Pratt being duly sworn, say that they are members of the 
firm of Child, Pratt & Fox, doing business in the city of St. Louis. These affiants 
say that General J. McKinstry, late chief Quartermaster at St. Louis, never was inter- 
ested, either directly or indirectly, in the profits, or otherwise in any sales of supplies 
to the Government made by our firm ; nor did said McKinstry ever receive any 
compensation from said firm, in any form or mode, either directly or indirectly. These 
affiants farther say, that it was never hinted or stiggested by any one that we should 
allow or contribute anything to said McKinstry, or to any one in his behalf, or for his 
benefit, nor was anything of the kind ever done by said firm. These affiants say, that 
any suggestion, intimation, or statement, that General McICinstry ever realized, or re- 
ceived, either directly or indirectly, any money, property, benefit, or advantage, from 
Child, Pratt & Fox, or from either member of said firm, on Hccount of, or by reason 
of any sale of merchandize by said firm to the Government, is wholly untrue. These 
affiants further say, that the bad shoes mentioned in the testimony of 0. D. Filley, p. 
— , were immediately replaced by a good article, by said firm, as soon as we were in- 
formed that hey were of bad quality. When the shoes that turned out to be bad were 
purchased, they were supposed to be good, and the usual market value was paid for 
them by said firm, and we supposed and believed at the time that said shoes were good. 


and as soon as we were informed of their bad quality we replaced them without any 
loss to the Government. Our partner, E. W. Fox, is now absent, or he would join in 
this affidavit. P. A. CHILD, 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 13(h day of June, 1862. In witness whereof? 
I have hereto set my hand and notarial seal, the day and year last above written. 


[No. 88.] 

State of Missouri, } 

' > ss. 
County of St. Louis, ) 

H. W. G. Clements being duly sworn, upon his oath says : I acted as chief 
clerk in the Quartermaster's Department, under General J. McKinstry, up- 
wards of ten years, last past, and I was chief clerk under him during all the 
time he acted as chief Quartermaster at St. Louis, Mo. I am familiar with the 
whole routine of business transacted by the Quartermaster. During the spring, 
summer and early pra-t of the fall of 1861, while the military organizations were 
in progress in the Western Department, the requisitions and orders upon the 
Quartermaster at St. Louis, to furnish supplies of every description, transporta- 
tion — in short everything necessary for the outfit of an army — were immensely 
large, very urgent, and often imperatively required to be furnished in the short- 
est possible time. Hence, the labors of the Quartermaster at St. Louis, during 
the time mentioned, v/erc suddenly increased beyond all former precedents, and 
his time and energies, as well as of his clerks, were taxed to their utmost endu- 
rance. General McKinstry gave personal attention and supervision, early and 
late, to the business transacted in his ofBco. The official reports of General 
McKinstry of his transactions show the enormous operations of the Government 
in this department, between the months of May and October of the year 1861, 
and the Quartermaster had no assistants assigned him, except near the close of 
his administration, and the accuracy of his books, accounts and reports to the 
Department are evidence of the labor, care and watchful vigilance of the Quar- 
termaster, in the discharge of his varied, intricate and onerous duties. 

I further state that when General McKinstry was ordered to the field, in Sep- 
tember last, he left his clerks (myself included) laboriously and diligently em- 
ployed in bringing up his accounts. When the Van Wyck Investigating Commit- 
tee w^as at St. Louis, I addressed three communications to said Committee, (Gen- 
eral McKinstry having then joined his command,) and in other ways offered said 
Committee every facility to make a full examination into the transactions of 
General McKinstry as chief Quartermaster at this post. I was familiar with the 
transactions the said Committee mention in their report, and could have shown 
them by the orders, correspondence, and other vouchers, on file in the office of 
General McKinstry, that the evidence heard by said Committee, which reflected 
on the official conduct of General McKinstry, was wholly false and unfounded. 
Notwithstanding my offer to said Committee to furnish them any information or 
explanation they might desire, I was not asked by said Ccmmittee to make any 
explanations, or give information in respect to General McKinstry's official trans- 
actions, except in regard to a few very unimportant matters. They did not in- 
terrogate me in regard to subjects which they have given such prominence in their 
report. And so, in regard to the Commissioners on Claims, although I was call- 


ed on by claimants to give evidence in regard to claims, I was not interrogated 
by the Commissioners as to any of General McKinstry's transactions which they 
have criticised with so much freedom. H. W. G. CLEMENTS. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 31st day of Mav, 1862. 

U. S. Com'r for Mo. 

[No. 89.] 
State of Missouri, } 
County of St. Louis. 3 

William L. Hahn being duly sworn, on his oath says :*I have been employed 
in the Quartermaster's Department, under General J. ^McKinstry, since the 15th 
day of May, A. D. 185G, and nearly the whole of that time I have acted as cash- 
ier, and disbursed the public moneys in charge of the Quartermaster, and kept 
his cash account. I stood in the same relation to General McKinstry, and acted 
in the same capacity, while he was acting chief Quartermaster at St. Louis. I 
am entirely familiar with his manner and method of conducting business. He 
has alwaj^s been careful and particular in his transactions in behalf of the Gov- 
ernment, giving his personal attention to the same in all cases, when it has been 
physically in his power to do so, and he has always required that the clerks em- 
ployed in his department should give careful personal attention to the duties as- 
signed them. No system or method of keeping Quartermaster's books is pre- 
scribed by the Army Regulations ; yet General McKinstry has always kept reg- 
ular mercantile accounts since I have been employed under him. I have had 
charge of his books of account, including the cash book, and made the entries 
in them, or caused them to be made by my assistants. The entries in those books 
were made at the time the several transactions in the Quartermaster's depart- 
ment occurred, and just as they occurred, and not otherwise, and no changes 
have ever been made in these accounts. 

All of the entries and accounts, aforesaid, are fully and properly entered — 
plainly and distinctly — so that any one at all conversant with the keeping of ac- 
counts, including property or merchandize accounts and cash book, can readily 
understand them. No transactions relating to either property or cash have ever 
been "loosely entered" in the books and accounts of General McKinstry. In 
corroboration of this, Mr. Benson S. Hopkins, lately employed by the Commis- 
sioners on Claims at St. Louis as " an expert in mercantile accounts," stated to 
ine that, at the request of said Commission, he examined the cash book kept by 
General McKinstry, particularly in respect to the moneys borrowed at St. Louis 
from the banks and individuals, and he said that he found the entries of the 
loans properly entered, and that the entries are made just as he would have made 
them. Said Hopkins, moreover, said, that he never reported that he found any 
irregularities in these entries, nor that the moneys borrowed, as aforesaid, were 
'Hoosely entered." 

This affiant further states that, after the President's proclamation calling for 
troops, and from the time that they began to assemble at St. Louis, the business 
jn the Quartermaster's department suddenly increased, and so many and great 
were the requisitions for army supplies at St. Louis that the Quartermaster's of- 
fice was literally besieged for several months, early and late, by those engaged 
in furnishing such supplies, and those receiving them, for distribution. I esti- 


mate that an average of not less than four hundred (400) persons had business 
transactions each day, at the oflSce of General McKinstry at St. Louis, from Aug- 
ust 1, to September 30, inclusive, in the year 1861. During this great rush and 
press of business. General McKinstry had no assistant Quartermasters assigned 
to assist him, except occasionally, for a short time ; but he and his clerks attend- 
ed to the whole of it, and to do the necessary labor General McKinstry and his 
clerks were kept at their respective desks from morning till night, and often half 
the nightr , And I do further state that, from my position, and having in charge 
the books and accounts of General McKinstry, and being charged with the re- 
sponsible duty of receiving and paying out all moneys entrusted to the Quarter- 
master, I had the very best means of discovering any peculations, or fraudulent 
transactions, in the department, if there had been any; and I here state that I 
never, at any time, discovered, or suspected, General McKinstry to be concerned, 
either directly or indirectly, in any peculation, fraudulent, or improper transac- 
tion whatever 5 and I do not believe, and have never seen or heard anything to 
induce me to suspect that General McKinstry ever realized, or received, or that 
he expects to realize or receive from any one, either directly or indirectly, any 
pecuniary benefit, or advantage, by reason of any transaction in the Quarter- 
master's department while he was chief thereof. 

I further state, that I have read the printed report of the Van Wyck Investi- 
gating Committee, and the testimony accompanying said report, and especially 
that portion purporting to give my testimony before said Committee. The said 
Committee omitted to publish a large portion of my testimony before them, 
which was important, and explanatory of many of the transactions reviewed and 
criticised by said Committee. Said Committee, in their said report, have garbled 
and misstated portions of my testimony. To undertake to correct the misstate- 
ments and omissions of said Committee, in respect to my own examination be- 
fore them, would swell the statement to an undue length. I, therefore, speak of 
only two or three of the most glaring instances of misstatement and misrepre- 
sentation in said report. 

First. In respect to the horse contract of Jones & Bowen, and the retention 
of $5,000, spoken of by said Committee : It is not true that General McKinstry 
retained $5,000 for Bowen. The facts are simply as follows : Jones & Bowen 
were responsible to the Government for the fulfilment of their contract with it. 
After the contract had been fulfilled, and but a few days before payment on the 
same was made, Mr. Bowen informed me that he had sold his interest in said 
contract to Wheeler for $5,000, and requested me, if he was not present when 
payment was made, to hold that amount for him ; that the party to whom he sold 
bis interest understood it and would assent to it. I, soon afterwards, was in- 
formed by Messrs. Thomson & Wheeler, or by one of them, that such was the un- 
derstanding between them and Bowen. General McKinstry knew nothing of 
this, and as there seemed nothing improper in the request, (as there was noth- 
ing improper in fact,) I did not inform General McKinstry [of the matter. 
The payment for horses and mules delivered under the Jones & Bowen con- 
tract was made in six per cent. Treasury notes, drawn to the order of General 
McKinstry, and were endorsed by him. I had no concern or interest in the mat- 
ter, and what I did was simply a matter of accommodation to the parties. The 
Government got the property, and the parties who delivered it got their pay for 
it, at the contract price and no more; and the $5,000 was paid to Mr. Bowen 
himself, and was not retained or kept by McKinstry. 



Second. In respect to the bid and testimony of Hood : His bid was made 
under advertisement for picket pins, ring bolts, &c. They were chiefly wanted 
for frontier service, and to be transported a long distance; and as the cost of 
transportation was an important item, the selection of articles of a proper size 
and make was important. I called on Mr. Hood, and requested samples to be 
sent to the Quartermaster's office. He sent a sample of his picket pins only, 
which were without swivel heads ; on being examined by General McKinstry, 
was rejected because he deemed picket pins of the sample sent not suitable for 
the service. 

In respect to wages paid to deck hands on steamboats in the service of the 
Government, General McKinstry paid but $15 per month to deck hands. If more 
was paid to this class of employees in the Western Department, it was by some 
other Quartermaster or officer. The accounts of General McKinstry show dis- 
tinctly the wages paid to employees of the Government. 

1 further state that, after General McKinstry was ordered to the field, 1 was 
diligently engaged in bringing up the immense mass of accounts for transmis- 
sion to the Department at Washington, embracing the unusually large transac- 
tions of General McKinstry ; when, about the 13th day of November last, I was 
arrested, under some military order, and held in confinement at Jefferson Bar- 
racks, and was not allowed access to the books or accounts of General McKin- 
stry until I was released in the month of January last. If I had been called 
upon, by either the Van Wyck Committee or by the Commissioners of Claims, 
at St. Louis, I could have explained and presented the facts of every transaction 
that said Committees criticised in their respective reports, but I was not re- 
quested or allowed to do so. WM. L. HAHN. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 2d day of June, A. D. 1862. 

JOHN M. KRUM, U. S. Com'r for Mo. 

[No. 90.] 

Extract from Cash Book kept by J. McKinstry, A. Q. M. 


Aug. 20 Received from St. Louis Building and Savings Ass'n., B. F $10,000 00 

" " " " Reed&Co.,B. F 2,000 00 

" " " " Exchange Bank, B. F 50,000 00 

" " " " " " Coin 12,000 00 

" " " " " " Coin or N. Y. Exchange. 14,283 61 

" 30 " " Bridge, Beach & Co., B. F 25,000 00 

" 31 " " Exchange Bank, B. F 10,000 00 

" " " " Building & Savings Association account 97,235 06 

" " " " Boatmen's Savings Institution. 50,000 00 

" " " " U. S. Treasury, Treasury Notes 700,000 00 

Sept. 4 " " P. A. Ladue Treasurer 10,000 00 

" 6 " " P. A. Ladue, Treasurer -• -. 20,000 00 

" 7 " " St. Louis Building and Savings Association 10,000 00 

" " " " Bridge, Beach & Co 25,000 00 

" 10 " " Robert Hay, B. F 42,000 00 

"12 " " St. Louis Building and Savings Association 10,000 00 

" 14 " " Exchange Bank, coin 12,000 00 

" " " " " Exchange in N. Y. 14,283 61 

" " " " Reed&Co., B. F. 2,500 00 

" " " " McMechan & Ballantine, B. F 2,500 00 

" " " " Partridge & Co., B. F 5,000 00 

" 18 " " Boatmen's Savings Institution, B. F • 25,000 00 

"19 " " U. S. Treasury, Treasury drafts ; 100,000 00 

" " " " St. Louis Building and Savings Association 131,110 77 

" 24 " " Webb & Kaime, B. F. 5,000 00 

" " " " Bank of State of Mo. 250,000 00 


Oct. .o, Received from Merchants' Bank, B. F. 75,000 00' 

" " " " Southern Bank, B. F 10,000 00 

" " " " Mechanics' Bank, B. F 36,000 00 

" " " " Bank of Missouri, B. F - 15,000 00 

[No. 91.] 
Sir : St. Louis, Mo., July 11th, 1851. 

You will i:)roceed. immediately to Rolla, Mo., as agent of the Quartermaster's 
Department, and report for duty at that point to the commanding officer. Lieut. 
Vogel, Mo. Volunteers, A. A. Q. M. at Rolla, has been directed to turn over the 
public property in his possession to you. 

In assuming the duties to which you are hereby appointed, your experience, I 
trust, makes you fully aware of the responsibility incurred. I shall expect you 
to give your undivided attention to the duties of your Department, and you will 
require the same industry and fidelity on the part of all that may be placed un- 
der your orders or direction. 

You will report promptly to this office all matters that are connected with and 
relating to the business of this Department. In the transaction of your business 
you will adhere strictly to the rules laid down in the Army Regulations, in all 
cases, unless directed to do otherwise by your commanding officer, in which 
case it will be proper for you to respectfully request the order to be put in 
writing, and report immediately to this office for the information of the Quar- 
termaster General at Washington. 

Remember, that the force you are called upon to assist is, for the most part, a 
hastily organized one, and ignorant of the duties of your Department. Patience 
and oft repeated explanations will be necessary in your official intercourse with 
them. Take care that no just complaint be made against vou. 
Very respectfully, your obd't serv't, 

J. McKINSTRY, Bvt. Major and A. Q. M. 
Mr. Thomas O'Brien, Agent Q. M. Department, St. Louis, Mo. 

[No. 92.] 
Sir: St. Lodis, February 1, 1862. 

At the time General McKinistry was placed under arrest, in the early part of 
November last, the clerks in his employ were busily engaged in preparing his 
reports, papers, &c., for transmission to the proper Department at Washington. 
All the books and papers pertaining to the Quartermaster's office, while under 
the administration of General McKinstry were seized at the same time, under 
military authority, by the Government. All of the clerks in his employ were 
arrested at the same time, and imprisoned at Jefferson Barracks, where they are 
still detained. Although General McKinstry has been anxious to render his ac- 
counts, and make his report as Quartermaster, he has been hitherto, and is now, 
prevented from doing so by the military orders of the Government. His books, 
papers, and large iron safe, used by him while Quartermaster, are in a building 
that he occupied, and which is now occupied by the present Quartermaster, in 
this city. General McKinstry is confined at the Arsenal, distant two miles and 
upwards from his papers, and his clerks are confined ten miles from the city, at 
Jefferson Barracks. 

On the 23d December last, I addressed a letter to General Meigs, Quartermaa- 
ler General, on this subject, an extract from which letter I herewith enclose, 
marked A. 


On the 9tlli of January (ultimo) I addressed a letter, on the same subject, to 
the President, asking that General McKinstry's limits of arrest might be extend- 
ed to the city, so as to enable him to render his accounts. This was written in 
anticipation that his books and papers would be restored to him, in accordance 
with the recommendation of Mr. S. T. Glover, in his letter of 3d January, ad- 
dressed to Gen, Halleck. A copy of Mr. Glover's letter I also enclose, marked B. 
This letter of Mr. Glover I delivered to General Halleck, in person, and was 
informed by him, that up to that time he had not been entrusted with any au- 
thority or discretion, in the matter of the arrest of General McKinstry, or the 
seizure of his papers, &c. ; that in fact he (General H.) did not know, officially, 
of the arrest or seizure of either. He said he would immediately transmit Mr. 
Glover's note to the War Department at Washington. 

After waiting a reasonable time for a reply, or some action in regard to it, and 
without receiving notice of either, I addressed a letter to General Halleck, on 
the 23d ultimo, in respect to the same matter, and I enclose herewith a copy of 
his reply thereto, marked C. This letter, or notice, from General Halleck, is the 
first step that has been taken by the Government to restore to General McKinstry 
his books and papers. As before stated, the clerks of the late Quartermaster 
are still confined at Jefferson Barracks, and no order in respect to their release 
has, as yet, been made, so far as I know. General Halleck must have supposed 
that General McKinstry would be enabled to render his accounts if he had per- 
mission to take his books and papers to the Arsenal. Any one who has know- 
ledge of the limited quarters assigned to General McKinstry ought to know that 
it is noplace to send valuable and important papers. It is neither a safe place 
for such papers nor a convenient place to examine and arrange them. Besides, 
it would be neither wise nor prudent to transport a cart load of valuable books 
and papers from a safe depository two miles to an unsafe one, and I do not sup 
pose General McKinstry will be guilty of any such folly, even if he should be al- 
lowed the privilege of superintending, in person, such a work, which privilege, 
however, has not been extended to him. 

But, even were it prudent, or practicable, to remove the books and papers re- 
ferred to, of what advantage to General McKinstry can their removal to the Ar- 
senal be, when his former clerks, (on whose assistance in rendering his accounts 
he is dependent,) are imprisoned ten miles off, at Jefferson Barracks? My ob- 
ject in addressing you this communication and statement of facts, is to ask that 
the limits of arrest of General McKinstry, and of his late clerks, may be exten- 
ded, so as to allow them access to the ofiice where the books and papers of the 
late Quartermaster now are, in this city. 

I take this occasion, also, to enclose an extract from an order issued from your 
Department, on 30th November last, directed to Colonel Totten, and afterwards 
transferred to Mr. S. T. Glover — which extract is marked D. General McKin- 
stry did not know of the existence of such an order until the 28th December 
last, when tl^c extract was furnished by Major Lee, Judge Advocate General. I 
have now to state that no change whatever has ever been made in regard to the 
limits of arrest of General McKinstry. His limits have been, since his arrest on 
the IZth November, 1861, the " Arsenal and Arsenal grounds." He is still there ! 
He has never been invited, by any one, " to explain, if he sees fit, any account 
or transaction that seems to need it." 

Hoping soon to receive a favorable reply to this application, I remain, respect'ly^ 

(Signed) JOHiN M. KRUM. 

To Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, Washington^ D. C. 

^^\ 89 =: 


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