Plundering the Soldier — Is it True!
The Carbondale Times, published near by where the larger portion of the Illinois troops are stationed, thus speaks of the swindles which are now rife everywhere among soulless contractors who furnish supplies and clothing to the soldiers:
HANG THE SCOUNDRELS: — From nearly every northern state loud complaints are heard of the dishonesty of army contractors, and the rascality of state officers in awarding the contracts. They cheat the poor soldiers in every possible manner; their clothing is half made, and of inferior quality; caps and shoes will scarcely hold together, and even their provisions are oftentimes unfit for dogs. Full half the uniforms furnished the Illinois troops are perfect swindles. Instead of superior, heavy army cloth, they are generally miserable, slazy satinet, that will not last two months, when they must be replenished at the expense of the men; shoes rip, and fully one-half the heels drop off. But badly as our Illinois boys fare, they are infinitely better of than the Ohio or Pennsylvania volunteers. Hanging is too good for these scoundrelly contractors, but as it is the only way to bring them to their reason it had better be tried on.
We clip the following from the Chicago Tribune, of Saturday, on the same subject:
DON'T LIKE THE UNIFORMS. — The Dupage County Rifles were clothed in satinet at $8 per suit, at one of our Chicago clothing establishments. The Dupage Journal reports on the rig as follows:
"We saw one of the uniforms in this village, when it had been worn three days; some of the buttons were already off, and an ordinary seamstress could have busied herself some time upon it before a modest man would have cared to venture upon an evening party. When we visited the camp, a week later, more than one half the company would have been perfectly safe in presence of any enemy civilized enough to respect a flag of truce. They might truly have been described as ‘an army with banners.’"
Can it be true that the Illinois volunteers, too, are being subjected to the plundering tricks which have stirred up public indignation in Pennsylvania and Ohio? If so, what are their officers doing to permit them so to be plundered, and why is it that the quartermaster's department is thus remiss in not seeing that the contracts are honestly and faithfully fulfilled?
We had hoped that Illinois was to be exempt from the villanies which have beset some of our sister states, in the equipment and subsistence of their troops, and we yet have hope that there is some mistake in the allegations which we quote above.
The quarter-master general should ferret out the culprits in this connection, and hold them up to public scorn; and further, so arrange that a stop be put to the swindles of these harpies, who would fatten upon plunder of the volunteer's pittance while he is in the field for his country's defence.