Jan 1 1862 Wrote Capt. William Leland, Commissary of Subsistence of Volunteers, “In reply to your statements of this morning relative to an attack made in the Alton Telegraph, reflecting upon the honesty and integrity of the Commissary of this place, particularly in the letting of a bread contract, I fell it but justice to you, and take great pleasure in making a full statement of facts.
“The same charges were made to me that are now repeated in the Telegraph. I felt it my duty to have the matter investigated, which investigation entirely exonerates you of the charge made, and convicts the author, which traced back, proves to be Lazare [a local baker] or his wife, without a statement from any one to support it, of base calumny. This man Lazare, when he supposed that no one but himself could furnish bread, told me that at 2 1/2 cents, he was losing money every day — that 3 cents was as little as he could furnish it at.
“Knowing that such a price would be regarded as exorbitant, and feeling as Mr. Lazare did, that no one but himself could furnish it, I tried to prevail upon him to take the contract at 2 3/4 cents. His reply was that the expense was great. Water had to be hauled from the river, flour from the wharf-boat, freights were high, and he was always required to be prepared for the contingency of an increase of the number of troops.
“As an inducement, then, I told Mr. Lazare that if he would continue to furnish bread at 2 3/4 cents, I would require the public teams to do all his hauling at this place, and possibly the authorities at St. Louis would allow Government boats, when they were coming here without a full cargo, to put some flour on for him, free.
“Upon these terms he agreed to continue. About this time you made a contract at 2 5/8 cents, the contractor to do all his hauling, freighting and everything free of expense or labor. Of this contract I was not advised until it was completed. This was probably the worst feature in the whole transaction.
“Since this matter was stirred up, complaints have come to me from all quarters where bread has been furnished by Mr. Lazare, stating that the bread has been bad continuously and sometimes short in weight.
“Samples have been sent to my office which were totally unfit for issue, and if fair samples, as they were represented to be, I have no hesitation in saying that the bread furnished has been a fruitful source of sickness in this command.
“The investigation I have caused entirely exonerates you from the charges, and as before stated, traces the authorship back to Lazare (or his wife) a man who represented to me that at 2 1/2 cents he was losing money every day, and that at 2 3/4 cents he must have other benefits worth, to him, several dollars per day.”
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3, p 360-61
Chicago Tribune, Jan 5, 1862