A New Chapter of the Mormon War—The Mule Contract.
From the St. Louis Democrat, 18th.
We learn that the Board of Inquiry, which met at Fort Leavenworth to investigate the complaints made by the contractors against Capt. VAN VLIET, A. Q. M., in relation to his inspection and appraisement of the mules, have presented a report signed by Col. ROBERTS and Major GAINES, condemning the conduct of VAN VLIET, and justifying the complaints of the contractors. The report, we understand, affirms that mules were improperly rejected, and that the general appraisement should not have been less than $185 a head. Major SHERMAN does not, it seems, concur in this, and the presumption is that he will present a minority report under his own signature. The number of mules received by VAN VLIET from the favored few in compliance with his orders was 3,718. The increased appraisement of the Board of Inquiry will add $50,000 to the profits. The acceptance of the rejected mules will swell the figures still more. Mr. FLOYD'S friends may boast that they were born under a lucky star. We have no hesitation in saying that the Administration flung away $400,000 in these purchases of mules. The proposition of Messrs. CALDWELL and GEARY, of Texas, to supply all the mules which the Government should require, delivering them at Fort Leavenworth, at prices varying from $85 to $100, is on file in the War-Office. This proposition was never noticed by the authorities in Washington, nor were propositions from any quarter invited. The business was parceled out privily among the friends of the Secretary, and the friends of some leading men in Washington. No terms were made, but a rule was adopted which encouraged extravagant outlays. The whole thing was left ostensibly to the discretion of an Assistant Quartermaster. The same mode was adopted with the other contracts, if they can be considered contracts. Col. CROSSMAN was directed to purchase corn in St. Louis, from another friend of the Secretary, at 90 cents per bushel. His integrity has been rewarded by sending him to Salt Lake City.
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