A Contractors' War.
A prominent republican in this city speaking of the war, said to us, the other day, "I believe this is a contractors' war." We fear it is true. The investigation of the frauds committed by official agents of the United States, since the commencement of the war, shows that swindling the government is the chief employment of these officials. It is probably safe to say that the government is swindled out of about a quarter of a million of dollars a day by dishonest office holders. — Here is one little sample: Geo. D. Morgan, brother-in-law of Mr. Welles, secretary of the navy, was employed to purchase vessels for the navy. He paid $14,500 to one W.K. Harbuck for two old ships (the Roman and Wm. Badger) for which Harbuck paid only $6,500, while acting as the agent of the government. And over and above this, Harbuck was paid five per cent. Upon the same sum for advancing the money! From May to July this man Morgan pocketed $70,000 as commissions on his purchases for the government. And this is only one case out of hundreds, perhaps thousands just like it.
One out of every three of the Enfield cartridges, put up for the Burnside expedition, contained no powder. This is cheating the government and helping the rebels at the same time. Who is the contractor?
The fight between Cameron and Fremont, which agitated the country a few weeks ago, has terminated in the destruction of both combatants. Cameron had influence enough to procure Fremont's removal, but he did not long enjoy his victory. His own head soon rolled upon the executioner's block for the same causes that led to the decapitation of Fremont — official corruption.
It appears from the message of the governor of New York that is has cost the state of New York only $2,868,501.16 to fit out one hundred thousand soldiers, while it has cost Illinois five millions of dollars to fit out about half that number! Is there not something wrong in this?