out of the transportation of the wounded.
Nay, so vile was the scramble for money, so debasing its influence, that our dead heroes were followed into the very grave by the plundering contractor, who cheated in the coffin that was to hold the sacred dust, and amassed fortunes by supplying rotten head-stones in defiance of accepted stipulations.
What shall we call this wretched episode of national history but a Carnival of Fraud This was the Augean stable to cleanse which the broom of authority was placed in my hands.
Of all this I knew nothing in November, 1862, when Secretary Stanton
first applied, through the United States Marshal at New York, for my services.
There had been much talk and a good many wholesome truths told by the Democratic
papers, but my experience had been in the field, and, besides, it was not the likely thing for Democratic papers to be seen about the camps in North Carolina
Of one or two specific cases of fraud, the members of the Burnside
expedition had been forced to have a very accurate knowledge.
We lay in Hatteras Inlet a whole month, waiting upon McClellan
's movements in Virginia
, so as to co-operate with him. Of water we had a sufficient supply, but the contractor had put it in cheap barrels, that had contained kerosene oil
, and our stomachs turned against it. When the order came to move upon Roanoke Island
, we attempted to cross the “swash,” the great shoal that lies between the ocean beach and Albemarle Sound
, but scarcely a vessel could be dragged through the channel, even by two powerful tugs, until it had been emptied of everything portable; the agents, instructed to hire vessels of a certain draught only, had accepted others that drew two or three feet more of water at exorbitant rates-some, if I remember aright, at one thousand dollars per day!
Conversing with Burnside
as the vessel we were on stuck fast half way over the swash, I offered to send an account of this infamy to the Northern
press and denounce the responsible parties by name.
But he protested, saying that as he would reap the credit of success, so he ought to take the blame of failure.
It was his fault and none other that such vessels had been taken, and as commander of the expedition it was his
business to have seen that the agents did their
The man's character, at least as I have always known it, is expressed in that sentiment.
The occasion of my employment was the giving of a Delmonico dinner by a German Israelite to a distinguished company of guests.
The host was one Solomon Kohnstamm
, who had accumulated a fortune of over a quarter of a million in the importing business at New York, and enjoyed the reputation of a giver of good dinners