Evidence was elicited tending to show that the abuses of which the commission complained extend over the whole seaboard. The government has been in the habit of paying ruinous prices for the charter of vessels, some of which have been perfectly unseaworthy. The precious lives of officers and men, and public property to the value of millions of dollars, have been intrusted to rotten steamboat hulks, and greedy speculators and middlemen have been paid for their use prices of the most extortionate nature.I have referred above to the loyal support constantly given me by Secretary Stanton. One instance will suffice by way of example. The Provost Marshal on Major General Schenck's staff, at Baltimore, had been guilty of scandalous conduct, which was at last brought to the Secretary's notice by a brigadier general of volunteers, who preferred formal charges. Through the Judge Advocate General I received the Secretary's order to investigate the charges and recommend what action should be taken. The result was the officer's arrest, confinement in the Old Capitol, his subsequent trial by court-martial, conviction of theft and perjury, and his sentence to the Albany Penitentiary, where he served out his term, if my memory
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