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[711] and the court would only permit us to introduce testimony about seven others, to show the scienter, or guilty knowledge. Accordingly, eight cases of palpable forgery were designated, the trial proceeded (May 17th, 1864), and, on the 21st, the jury, after deliberating only twenty minutes, brought in a verdict of guilty. The court promptly sentenced him to ten years imprisonment, at hard labor, at Sing Sing, and the rich Kohnstamm made his exit from the busy scene of his tradings and his triumphs.

So unexpected, but so welcome, was this result to the Secretary of War that, upon receiving the news, he telegraphed back a characteristic message, which, as I recall it, was as follows:

War Department, May 21st, 1864.
Colonel H. S. Olcott, New York:
I heartily congratulate you upon the result of to-day's trial. It is as important to the government as the winning of a battle.

Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

Since I have anticipated events somewhat, to give a connected history of the Kohnstamm case, it may as well be said here that the civil suit was duly prosecuted to a successful issue, and a large sum of money paid over to the Treasury by the trustees of the felon's estate. As a farce after the tragedy, naturally followed his pardon by President Johnson, after two years imprisonment, upon the petition of the usual string of wealthy and influential New Yorkers, who so often give their signatures to papers of this kind without proper consideration.

In December, 1862, being in Washington, the Assistant Secretary of War handed me, for examination, a claim for above three thousand dollars, which had been collected by one D'Utassy, colonel of the Garibaldi Guard, a New York volunteer regiment, upon his affidavit that it was correct. I found it to be a total fraud, the very signatures upon the sub-vouchers being forged. The delinquent was court-martialed, convicted, and sentenced to the penitentiary. The inquiry into this and the Kohnstamm cases developed such an astonishing condition of moral obliquity among contractors and regimental officers that the Secretary of War took prompt measures to bring the guilty to punishment. Several commissioned officers were dismissed the service, and a number, among them two officers of the regular army, were handed over to the civil authorities for prosecution. The Adjutant General also availed of my help, sending me claims filed for payment, that I might report my opinion of their validity; and various practical suggestions from me, for the

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