Salem N.C. Oct 13, 1862
Dear Sir, Your favor of 10th inst. came to hand yesterday morning & we are sorry to see that you have misunderstood our note to Capt. Garrett. We do not object to taking the oath, because we are not satisfied with 75 per cent profit, as we believe that to be a liberal percentage.
If you will ask Capt. Garrett or Capt. Sloan they will tell you that we have never asked for an advance on goods, & we know we have furnished the State our goods for much less 75 per cent profit. We have left it to the Q. M. to say what would be a fair price & from last January to this time have furnished goods at the prices then agreed on, although wool & all materials have advanced at least 100 per cent & goods of the same quality have been sold from 50 to 100 per cent higher than the State paid us, & we could not now replace these goods for the money we got, without counting any-thing for profits.
Now this has nothing to do with taking the oath & we just mention it to show that it is not our desire to get all we can-
Some of the difficulties about the oath are these: We have some old fashioned notions about taking an oath - when we take an oath we want to swear to facts. How any man can conscientiously swear that goods cost so much is more than we can see. We have been doing business over 20 yrs. & when prices are settled, we could tell very nearly the cost of goods, but now when all the stock & the findings for a mill have no established price & some things can not be replaced at any price, we certainly could not tell what it would cost. For instance; what shall we charge for wear & tear of machinery & what shall we rate the machinery at? or shall a man just swear at the pole & say it cost so much to make a yard of cloth or a pound of yarn.