New York had a lot of problems with contractors and shoddy goods at the beginning of the war which was investigated by the legislature. From this, we learn that the Baldwin & Johnson firm offered to provide canteens at .40 cents each to be covered in "army blue cloth," but the contract went to Thomas Bell whose canteens were covered in "mixed brown cloth," on paper at a lower price. However, the state ended up paying .40 cents for these, anyway. Jesse Baldwin testified "there was a great deal of difference between the covering I proposed to furnish, and that he proposed to and did supply; mine was better goods." Mr. Johnson of the firm believed that Bell substituted the other cloth because "the army cloth could not be had at the time," and said it made a difference of about .10 cents per yard, translating to "a little over one cent and a half" per canteen. He further says that they "made several bids upon canteens of three or four different grades of cloth," and that his firm had, in fact, offered a canteen that would have cost .37 cents that would have been "serviceable and as good in all respects" as Mr. Bell's .40 cent specimen.
Bell's agent, George Robins, testified that his .37 cent sample was covered in "a thin flannel," but that the price ended up higher because of the sample cloth the arsenal had and requested—the "brown mixed cloth." "They wanted to know what I would furnish them for, with a covering of that kind of cloth, and I told them 42 cents."
Marc A. Hermann.
The Daybreak B'hoys.
Liberty Rifles - Hardtack Society.
Oliver Tilden Camp No. 26, SUVCW.
Descendant of Pvt. E. Hermann, 45th PA Militia - Capt. Wm. K. and Lt. Geo. W. Hopkins, 7th PA Reserves - Pvt. Jos. A. Weckerly, 72nd PA Infantry - Pvt. Thos. Will, 21st PA Cavalry.