muskets, with which the army had for some years been supplied.
They were of the old calibre of 69/100 of an inch, which had been changed in 1855 to that of 55/100 in the new rifled muskets.
It was 105,000 of these arms that Secretary Floyd
ordered to be sent to the five Southern arsenals; ‘65,000 of them were percussion muskets of the calibre of 69/100, and 40,000 of this calibre altered to percussion.’
By the same order 10,000 of the old percussion rifles of the calibre of 54/100 were removed to these arsenals.
These constitute the 115,000 extra muskets and rifles, with all their implements and ammunition, which, according to General Scott
's allegation nearly three years thereafter, had been sent to the South
to furnish arms to the future insurgents.
We might suppose from this description, embracing ‘ammunition,’ powder and ball, though nowhere to be found except in his own imagination, that the secessionists were just ready to commence the civil wars His sagacity, long after the fact, puts to shame the dulness of the Military Committee.
Whilst obliged to admit that the whole proceeding was officially recorded, he covers it with an air of suspicion by asserting that the transaction was ‘very quietly conducted.’
And yet it was openly conducted according to the prescribed forms, and must have been known at the time to a large number of persons including the General
himself, outside either of the War Department, the Springfield armory
, or the Southern
In truth, there was not then the least motive for concealment, even had this been possible.
The General pronounces these muskets and rifles to have been of an ‘extra
It may, therefore, be proper to state from the testimony what was their true character.
In 1857 proceedings had been instituted by the War Department, under the act of 3d March, 1825, ‘to authorize the sale of unserviceable ordnance, arm, and military stores.’1
The inspecting officers under the act condemned 190,000 of the old muskets, ‘as unsuitable for the public service,’ and recommended that they be sold.
In the spring of 1859, 50,000 of them were offered at public sale.
‘The bids received,’ says Colonel Craig
, ‘were very unsatisfactory, ranging from 10 1/2 ’