by Ben Vernia | January 29th, 2013
On January 25, 1863, the New York Times reported on the ongoing investigation of the Quartermaster’s department in Philadelphia, and the receipt of poor quality uniforms:
The Judge-Advocate General has taken preliminary steps for full investigation of the alleged frauds connected with the Quartermaster’s Department at Philadelphia. The testimony, in part, has already been procured. The transactions relate to tents, caps, clothing and other supplies — shoddy entering largely, it is said, into the contracts. The report states that the frauds, at large, figure, in the aggregate, esveral millions.
“Shoddy” - now used to mean any poorly made good, was originally defined as fabric made from shredded used woolen material (rather than new fibers).