any improper motive or object in the order, for on the question of union and secession Mr. Floyd
was then regarded throughout the country as a strong advocate of the Union
and opponent of secession.
He had recently published, over his own signature, in a Richmond paper, a letter on this subject, which gained him high credit at the North
for his boldness in rebuking the pernicious views of many in his own State.’
The committee, then, in the third place, extended back their inquiry into the circumstances under which Secretary Floyd
had a year before, in December, 1859, ordered the removal of one-fifth of the old percussion and flint-lock muskets from the Springfield armory
, where they had accumulated in inconvenient numbers, to five Southern arsenals.
The committee, after examining Colonel Craig
, Captain Maynadier
, and other witnesses, merely reported to the House
the testimony they had taken, without in the slightest degree implicating the conduct of Secretary Floyd
Indeed, this testimony is wholly inconsistent with the existence of any improper motive on his part.
He issued the order to Colonel Craig
(December 29th, 1859) almost a year before Mr. Lincoln
's election, several months before his nomination at Chicago
, and before the Democratic party had destroyed its prospects of success by breaking up the Charleston Convention.
Besides, Secretary Floyd
was at the time, as he had always been, an open and avowed opponent of secession.
Indeed, long afterwards, when the question had assumed a more serious aspect, we are informed, as already stated by Captain Maynadier
, that he had in a Richmond paper boldly rebuked the advocates of this pernicious doctrine.
The order and all the proceedings under it were duly recorded.
The arms were not to be removed in haste, but ‘from time to time as may be most suitable for economy and transportation,’ and they were to be distributed among the arsenals, ‘in proportion to their respective means of proper storage.’
All was openly transacted, and the order was carried into execution by the Ordnance Bureau according to the usual course of administration, without any reference to the President
The United States
had on hand 499,554, say 500,000 of these muskets.
They were in every respect inferior to the new rifle