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Posted June 20, 2003
Solving the Mystery of the Arsenal Guns
by Randy R. McGuire, PhD
Sources and Methodology
Background of the Arsenal
The St. Louis Arsenal in the Years Leading up to the Civil War
Events of Early 1861 Affect the St. Louis Arsenal
Excerpts fromThe War of the Rebellion:
A Compilation of the Official Records of the . . . Confederate Armies(1880-1901)
(Confederate records, dating from 14 November 1860 to 24 September 1861, pertaining to ordnance and munitions issues and Missouri’s relation to the Confederacy.)
1. WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, November 14, 1860.
His Excellency JOHN J. PETTUS, Governor of Mississippi, Jackson:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt this day from the Hon. Jacob Thompson of your letter of the 6th instant, and in reply to inform you that there is no authority in this Department to exchange rifles for flint-lock muskets, as proposed by you. We have percussion, muskets altered from flint-lock at the Baton Rouge and Saint Louis arsenals, which are for sale at $2.50 each. Should you desire to purchase any of them, and will advise me of the number, I will issue the necessary orders to comply with your request. Two thousand can be delivered at Baton Rouge, and any larger number at Saint Louis.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN B. FLOYD,
Secretary of War. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 5)
2. NEW YORK, November 21, 1860.
Hon. JOHN B. FLOYD, Secretary of War:
Sir: I understand that you have a large quantity of muskets changed from flint to percussion now at Watervliet for sale.
Will you do me the favor to state the lowest price and terms of payment for 10,000 stand, with the privilege of taking 40,000 more on the same terms; and whether they can be delivered here immediately, or whether they must be received at Watervliet? The former would be preferred, if it causes no delay.
A prompt reply will be acceptable, by telegraph or otherwise.
G. B. LAMAR. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, pp. 6-7)
P. S.—I presume they are all packed, ready for transportation.
3. WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, November 24, 1860.
G. B. LAMAR, Esq., New York:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 21st instant, and in reply have to say that I have directed 10,000 altered percussion muskets to be delivered at Watervliet Arsenal to you, on your order, on payment of $2.50 each for the same. This sale covers all the arms that I am at liberty to sell.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN B. FLOYD,
Secretary of War. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 7)
4. WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, November 27, 1860.
G. B. LAMAR, Esq., 48 University Place, New York City:
SIR: In reply to yours of the 26th instant, [not found] I have to say that by reference to my letter of the 24th instant you will find this sentence: "This sale covers all the arms that I am at liberty to sell." I presumed you would infer from that remark that the Department had no other arms that could be sold, which is the fact. I regret to add that I am not at liberty to authorize the delivery of the arms until payment is made, it being contrary to law.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN B. FLOYD. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, pp. 9-10)
5a. CHRISTMAS EVENING, [December 25,] 1860.
MY DEAR SIR: I send you a telegram which I have this moment received from Pittsburg.
Your friend, very respectfully,
JAMES BUCHANAN. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 15)
5b. PITTSBURG, December 25, 1860.
His Excellency JAMES BUCHANAN, President of the United States, Washington:
An order has issued from the War Department to transfer all the effective munitions of war from the arsenal in this city to Southern forts. Great excitement has been created in the public mind by this order. We would advise that the order be immediately countermanded. We speak at the instance of the people, and if not done we cannot be answerable for the consequences.
WM. F. JOHNSTON.
CHARLES SHALER. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 15)
6. JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., December 26, 1860.
[This letter was "Inclosure No. 1" of W. Cooper to A. B. Moore, January 7, 1861]
His Excellency R. M. STEWART, Governor, &c.:
SIR: At a late session of the Legislature of the State of Alabama, and on the 24th day of February, 1860, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Alabama, in General Assembly convened, adopted the following preamble and resolution, viz:
Whereas, anti-slavery agitation, persistently continued in the non-slave-holding States of this Union for more than a third of a century, marked at every stage of its progress by contempt for the obligations of law and the sanctity of compacts, evincing a deadly hostility to the rights and institutions of the Southern people and a settled purpose to effect their overthrow, even by the subversion of the Constitution and at the hazard of bloodshed; and Whereas, a sectional party calling itself Republican, committed alike by its own acts and antecedents and the public avowals and secret machinations of its leaders to the execution of those atrocious designs, has acquired the ascendant in every Northern State, and hopes by success in the approaching Presidential election to seize the Government itself; and
Whereas, to permit such a seizure by those whose unmistakable aim is to pervert its whole machinery to the destruction of a portion of its members would be an act of suicidal folly and madness, almost without a parallel in history; and
Whereas, the General Assembly of Alabama, representing a people loyally devoted to the Union of the Constitution, but scorning the Union which fanaticism would erect upon its ruins, deem it their solemn duty to provide in advance the means by which they may escape such peril and dishonor, and desire new securities for perpetuating the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity: Therefore,
Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Alabama in General Assembly convened, That upon the happening of the contingency contemplated in the foregoing preamble, namely, the election of a President advocating the principles and actions of the party in the Northern States calling itself the Republican party, it shall be the duty of the Governor, and he is hereby required, forthwith to issue his proclamation calling upon the qualified voters of this State to assemble on a Monday not more than forty days after the date of said proclamation, and at the general places of voting in their respective counties, to elect delegates to a State convention of the State, to consider, determine, and do whatever, in the opinion of said convention, the rights, interests, and honor of the State of Alabama require to be done for their protection.
And on the 25th day of February, 1860, another resolution was adopted and passed by said body, as follows, viz:
Be it resolved, That in the absence of any preparation for a systematic cooperation of the Southern States in resisting the aggressions of their enemies, Alabama, acting for herself, has solemnly declared that under no circumstances will she submit to the foul domination of a sectional Northern party; has provided for the call of a convention in the event of the triumph of such a faction in the approaching Presidential election, and, to maintain her position thus deliberately assumed, has appropriated, &c.
Under the foregoing resolutions and the influence of subsequent political events His Excellency Andrew B. Moore, Governor of the State of Alabama, deeming it proper to consult with the slave-holding States of the Union as to what is best to be done to promote their and our interests and honor in the crisis which the action of the Black Republicans has forced upon the country, and believing that the conventions of South Carolina and Florida, as well as the Legislatures of some of the other States, would have assembled and acted before the meeting of the convention of Alabama, and thus the opportunity of conferring with them would be measurably lost, determined to appoint commissioners to each of the slave-holding States in time to enable them to report the result of the convention to him before the meeting of the Alabama convention (which will assemble at the city of Montgomery on the 7th of January, 1861), that the same might be laid before that body. The election of members to the Alabama convention was holden on the 24th of December, 1860. This course was pursued by Governor Moore because the Southern States could not, without violating the Constitution of the United States, make any agreement, form any alliance, nor enter into any compact for their mutual protection before separate State secession; and because all that can be done will be to consult generally as to what would be best and afterward to secede separately as emergencies might demand, and thereafter cooperate in the formation of such confederacy as might tend to the general welfare. Under this state of facts the undersigned was, by Andrew B. Moore, Governor of the State of Alabama, on the 18th of December, 1860, commissioned to the State of Missouri to consult and advise with His Excellency the Governor of Missouri and with the Legislature and all other public functionaries of said State, touching the premises as to what shall be deemed best to be done to protect the rights, interests, and honor of the slave-holding States; and all of which is respectfully submitted to elicit the counsel and opinion of the State of Missouri as to what is best to be done by the slave-holding States in the present political crisis, and all of which I respectfully submit to elicit the consultation and advice of the State of Missouri in the premises.
Commissioner from Alabama. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, pp. 23-25)
7. [Jefferson City, Mo., December 29, 1860.]
[This Resolution was "Inclosure No. 3" of W. Cooper to A. B. Moore, January 7, 1861]
At an adjourned meeting of the members of the Legislature of Missouri, held at the capitol on Saturday, December 29, 1860, prior to the meeting of the General Assembly, after the address of the Hon. William Cooper, commissioner from the State of Alabama, Dr. John Hyer, senator from Dent, was elected chairman,. and R. C. Cloud, esq., of Pemiscot, was elected secretary.
Hon. M. M. Parsons, senator from Cole, offered the following:
Resolved, That we have heard with deep interest the address of the Hon. William Cooper, commissioner appointed from the State of Alabama to consult with us in regard to what course the slave-holding States should take under the present crisis, and that we will during the coming session express our opinions officially upon the questions now distracting the Union, and will furnish His Excellency the Governor of Alabama with a copy of such resolutions on the subject as the General Assembly may adopt.
Which was unanimously adopted.
Hon. Thomas W. Freeman, representative from Polk, offered the following:
Resolved, That the secretary of this meeting be directed to transmit a copy of the resolution adopted by this meeting to His Excellency the Governor of Alabama by Hon. William Cooper, commissioner from that State.
Which was unanimously adopted, and thereupon the meeting adjourned.
Secretary. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 25-26)
8. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, City of Jefferson, December 30, 1860.
[This letter was "Inclosure No. 2" of W. Cooper to A. B. Moore, January 7, 1861]
His Excellency A.B. MOORE, Governor of Alabama, Montgomery, Ala.:
SIR: I acknowledge with pleasure the receipt of your favor of the 18th instant, accrediting and introducing to me Mr. William Cooper as a commissioner from Alabama to Missouri, to confer with proper authorities in this State respecting all matters connected with the present political and governmental crisis in the United States. I am truly gratified and the people of Missouri will be pleased to learn that you have taken a course which looks to a friendly conference of all the slave-holding States. Be assured, sir, that in Missouri we have a lively appreciation of the practical injuries suffered from the interference and depredations of Northern fanatics. Owing to the peculiarity of our geographical position, being bounded by nearly 1,000 miles of free territory, our State probably suffers more from the loss and abduction of slaves than any of her sisters, and our people are determined to seek redress for their wrongs and full security and indemnity for their rights. At the same time they are, so far as I am advised, equally opposed to separate or immediate action upon a subject of so grave importance. The people of Missouri will still seek for the acknowledgment and vindication of their rights within the Union rather than "fly from present evils to those we know not of," and when the terms of a fair adjustment are refused will be prepared to join with the slave-holding States in united measures for the redress of our common grievances. For a further exposition of my views on this subject I beg to refer you to my forthcoming annual message to the General Assembly of Missouri, which you will doubtless receive before the meeting of your State convention on the 7th proximo, as also that of my successor, of whose opinions I am not specially advised. In the meantime be assured that every courtesy which the representatives of a great and generous people know how to bestow will be cordially extended to the worthy and gentlemanly commissioner who comes here honored with the confidence of Alabama.
R. M. STEWART. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 25)
9. [Jefferson City, Mo., c. December 31, 1860]:
[This letter was "Inclosure No. 4" of W. Cooper to A. B. Moore, January 7, 1861]
MY DEAR SHIELDS: I observed in the last Expositor a call for a meeting, to take place in Lexington on the 10th of this month, to consider the course the Southern people should pursue under the menaces and threats of Black Republicanism. From the free and outspoken terms in which this call is made, and the unqualified language used in setting forth the objects of the meeting, those of us at a distance cannot but infer that the good people of "old La Fayette" are determined to assert the rights which belong to them under the Constitution and set themselves right before the world. I rejoice to see that the men of all parties have freely signed this call, and I trust in God they will have the metal and the nerve about them when they shall assemble together to look all impending danger squarely in the face, and firmly but respectfully declare to the world where they will be found in the fearful crisis which now overhangs our common country. The time has come, in my judgment, when a settlement of all the questions in controversy must be had. That settlement, to be of any value, must be full, complete, and final, and expressed in such terms that no one can doubt the exact meaning of the settlement. In the call for your meeting you have declared your purpose to demand an "unconditional repeal" of all the personal-liberty laws which have been passed by the free States. This is a step, I think, well taken, and leads in the right direction. But does it go far enough? Does it reach the heart of the disease? Nothing short of the most positive and binding obligations would I accept in the proposed settlement. Suppose those offending States should agree to repeal their odious enactments, and should actually do it, may they not re-enact them the year following? They have already violated one bargain, under the pretense of construing it differently from us. In making the next agreement let it be made so plain that the wayfaring man, though in a gallop, cannot mistake its meaning. You know the Constitution has not the word slave or slavery in it. Our fathers, who made it, were in reference to this subject possessed of a little mock modesty, or, perhaps, more properly speaking, they were a little too mealy-mouthed to speak out "in meeting" fully what they thought and meant. Now, everybody knows exactly what they meant; yet the Abolitionists and Black Republicans are beginning to deny its true intent and meaning. You know this is so; every man knows it. Should we, then, accept anything less than an amendment to the Constitution setting forth in the plainest terms the exact agreement entered into’? I do not know that we should ask this by way of amendment, but rather as an explanation of the tine meaning of the Constitution. We should also require a proper penalty of every State that has failed to comply in good faith with the Constitution and laws upon this subject. Each State that permits its citizens, in the way of armed mobs or otherwise, to obstruct the faithful execution of the fugitive slave law should be held responsible to the owner of the slave for all damages and costs in the case. It has occurred to my mind that we should demand this or something like it. I will not differ with friends in the matter of detail or mere form of the thing; so I get the substance I should feel satisfied.
Some of the Union savers and some of our more timorous friends are insisting that we must wait yet a while longer, until Lincoln shall commit some "overt act." They tell us his election is no good cause for secession. I agree that the mere form or manner of Lincoln’s election does not furnish good and sufficient grounds for secession; but when we consider that Lincoln is the representative man of the Black Republican party; that he was taken up by the Chicago convention, and afterward elected by his party, solely because he was the author of the declaration that "this Government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free," I ask if his election under these circumstances is not committing the "overt act." Can we regard it as anything less than a declaration of war upon the whole slave property of all the Southern States? Is it not a moral dissolution of the Union, a virtual disruption of the Government? For myself I cannot but regard the election of Lincoln as having brought to a focus all the threats and agitations of the last thirty years; as severing the political ties which have held together the people of the Northern and Southern States; as alienating their affections and placing them, to a great extent, in the position of two opposing armies, standing in hostile array to each other. But, my dear sir, do not understand me as undertaking to dictate what should be done. I simply took up my pen, on reading your call for a meeting, to say to you that you have my hearty approval and warmest sympathies in this movement. We shall hold a meeting in Saline on the 14th and would be glad to have you with us if it would not put you to too much trouble. This is all I intended to say in the outset, but as I have a little space I will add a word more. I think the people of each Southern State should hold conventions at once, and these conventions should appoint delegates to a general convention of all the Southern States, where they could all agree on what ought to be demanded, and that all might act in concert in carrying out the measures and policy agreed upon. Had I been acting Governor of the State I should have called the Legislature together before now, in order that they might consider the question of calling a convention, and at the same time, if thought proper, to dispatch a commissioner to South Carolina, Georgia, &c., asking them, as friends, not to go out of the Union by any hasty step, but remain with us and meet us in convention, and, if go we must, let us all go out together. Let us exhaust all the means in our power to maintain our rights in the Union; let us preserve the Government, if possibly in our power; but if, after having tried all the remedies within our grasp, these should fail, as I fear they will, then I say, let us dissolve the connection and maintain the rights which belong to us at all hazards and to the last extremity.
In my arguments upon this subject I have thought it a waste of words and time to discuss the abstract right of secession. To us it does not matter whether it be a constitutional remedy or not. What right has the Black Republican or his allies to read us lectures on constitutional rights after having violated with impunity the plainest provisions of the Constitution for more than thirty years? I pray that our friends may not be betrayed into any rash acts or measures. Let there be no threats, no bravado, no gasconading; but firmly and determinedly let us take our position in the right and stand by it to the last.
C. F. Jackson. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, pp. 26-28)
10. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Montgomery, Ala., January 4[?], 1861.
To his Excellency JAMES BUCHANAN, President of the United States:
SIR: In a spirit of frankness I hasten to inform you by letter that by my order Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines, and the United States Arsenal at Mount Vernon were on yesterday peacefully occupied, and are now held by the troops of the State of Alabama. That this act on my part may not be misunderstood by the Government of the United States, I proceed to state the motives which have induced it, and the reasons which justify it, and also the course of conduct with which I design to follow that act. A convention of the people of this State will, in pursuance of a previously-enacted law, assemble on the 7th instant. I was fully convinced by the evidences which I had that that convention would at an early day, in the exercise of an authority which in my judgment of right belongs to it, withdraw the State of Alabama from the Government of the United States and place it in the attitude of a separate and independent power. Being thus convinced I deemed it my duty to take every precautionary step to make the secession of the State peaceful, and prevent detriment to her people. While entertaining such a conviction as to my duty, I received such information as left but little, if any, room to doubt that the Government of the United States, anticipating the secession of Alabama, and preparing to maintain its authority within this State by force, even to the shedding of the blood and the sacrifice of the lives of the people, was about to re-enforce those forts and put a guard over the arsenal. Having that information, it was but an act of self-defense, and the plainest dictate of prudence, to anticipate and guard against the contemplated movement of the authorities of the General Government. Appreciating, as I am sure you do, the courage and spirit of our people, you must be sensible that no attempt at the coercion of the State, or at the enforcement by military power of the authority of the United States within its jurisdiction in contravention of the ordinance of secession can be effectual, unless our utmost capacity for resistance can be exhausted. It would have been an unwise policy, suicidal in its character, to have permitted the Government of the United States to have made undisturbed preparations within this State to enforce by war and bloodshed an authority which it is the fixed purpose of the people of the State to resist to the uttermost of their power. A policy so manifestly unwise would probably have been overruled by an excited and discontented people, and popular violence might have accomplished that which has been done by the State. Much more appropriately and much more consistently with the prospect of peace and the interests of the parties concerned.
The purpose with which my order was given and has been executed was to avoid and not to provoke hostilities between the State and Federal Government. There is no object, save the honor and independence of my State, which is by me so ardently desired as the preservation of amicable relations between this State and the Government of the United States. That the secession of the State, made necessary by the conduct of others, may be peaceful is my prayer as well as the prayer of every patriotic man in the State.
An inventory of the property in the forts and arsenal has been ordered, and the strictest care will be taken to prevent the injury or destruction of it while peaceable relations continue to subsist, as I trust they will. The forts and arsenal will be held by my order only for the precautionary purpose for which they were taken, and subject to the control of the convention of the people to assemble on the 7th instant.
With distinguished consideration, I am your obedient servant,
A. B. Moore. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 327-28)
11. CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES. Montgomery, Ala., January 7, 1861.
His Excellency A. B. MOORE, Governor of Alabama:
SIR: In pursuance of the requirements of the commission to me directed by the Governor of the State of Alabama on the 18th of December, 1860, I did forthwith repair to Jefferson City, in the State of Missouri, for the purpose of performing the duties required of me as commissioner from the State of Alabama to the State of Missouri; and my communication was immediately had with the then acting Governor of that State. I submitted to him my communication, a copy of which is herewith laid before Your Excellency, together with the reply of Governor Stewart. The Missouri Legislature was not in session and would not convene until the last day of December, 1860. Many of the members, however, of both houses, had assembled at the seat of government, and it being obvious that I could not await the organization of that body with any hope of such prompt action on its part as to enable me to be present and return here in time for the Alabama convention, an informal meeting of the members of the Senate and House of Representatives was had in the Senate chamber, after due publication, and an opportunity was afforded me of being heard by the members and the people in the hall of the House of Representatives on the 29th of December past, and after which action was had by the members, who convened in the Senate chamber and adopted a preamble and resolutions, which were handed to me and which I herewith submit to Your Excellency. I will add that so far as I could learn (and there was a free expression of opinion from the members and the people of the State of Missouri) that State was in favor of cooperation with the slave States, and in the event of a dissolution Missouri will confederate with the South and not with the North. Missouri feels and realizes her critical situation. Being a border State, bounded north, east, and west by free-soil territory, and bounded by a slave State on the south sparsely populated, she will move with slow and cautious steps. The present Governor of Missouri, Hon. C. F. Jackson, is decidedly in favor of calling a State convention to act in the present political crisis of the country, and his views are fully foreshadowed by his letter of the ___ of December past, as well as in his message. His letter to General Shields is also here referred to.
Respectfully, W. COOPER. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 23)
[See "Inclosure No. 1." at Wm. Cooper to R. M. Stewart, December 26, 1860]
[See "Inclosure No. 2." at R. M. Stewart to A. B. Moore, December 30, 1860]
[See "Inclosure No. 3." at Resolution of Missouri Legislators, December 29, 1860]
[See "Inclosure No. 4." at C. F. Jackson to [General] Shields, c. December 31, 1860]
12. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Montgomery, Ala., January 8, 1861.
THE PEOPLE OF ALABAMA:
. . . I am authorized to say that the banks are prepared to loan the State their proportionate share of $1,000,000 should her necessities require it. The convention is aware that I have had Fort Morgan, Fort Gaines, and Mount Vernon [Arsenal] occupied by the troops of Alabama. My reasons for this important step are briefly and plainly set forth in the following letter to the President of the United States as soon as I was officially informed that the forts and arsenal had been occupied. The forts and arsenal will be held subject to such instructions and directions as the convention may think proper to give. Strict, orders have been given the officers in command at the places mentioned to take an inventory of the arms and ammunition and public stores, and see that all are protected and preserved. . . .
A. B. Moore (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 32)
13. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Montgomery, Ala., January 14, 1861.
GENTLEMEN OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
Events of the utmost moment have rendered it necessary that your body should be assembled. At the last session of the General Assembly joint resolutions were adopted making it my duty, in the event of the election of a President by the Black Republican party of the United States, to issue my proclamation to the qualified voters "to elect delegates to a convention of the State to consider, determine, and do whatever, in the opinion of said convention, the rights, interests, and honor of the State of Alabama required to be done for their protection."
. . . Whatever differences of opinion may have existed as to the proper course of the State, it gives me pleasure to say that I have the strongest assurances that they will all cease, and that all the citizens of the State, in obedience to this organic law of the sovereign power, will sacrifice their objections on the altar of their country, and with one heart sustain the State in this great movement of deliverance and liberty. I believe it will require all the courage, fortitude, and patriotism of her sons to meet and overcome the approaching storm; but I have an abiding confidence that they will prove themselves equal to the emergency and deserving the great destiny that awaits them in the future. The events that occurred in the harbor of Charleston after the secession of South Carolina are matters of history. The accounts received from Washington all tended to induce the conviction that the Government of the United States intended to adopt a system of coercion against all the States that might secede from the Union. Governor Brown, of Georgia, acting upon this belief, seized upon Fort Pulaski, at the mouth of the Savannah River, in the name of the State of Georgia, and telegraphed me of that event. Satisfied that the State of Alabama would not remain in the Union, and in view of the indications of intention on the part of the Federal Government to coerce the seceding States, I could no longer hesitate as to the course my duty to the State required me to pursue. I could not wait until that Government had thrown troops into the forts commanding the entrance into the harbor of Mobile, and thus place that city and the State at the mercy of the ships of war of the United States. To regain possession of these posts would have cost the State thousands of treasure and the best blood of her sons. There were in the arsenal of the United States at Mount Vernon, on the Alabama River, a large supply of powder and small-arms, which might be used against the State. Acting under these considerations, I transmitted orders by telegraph, on the night of ____ January, to ______, at Mobile, to take possession of Forts Morgan and Gaines, at the mouth of Mobile Harbor, and of the arsenal at Mount Vernon, with all their arms, ammunition, and equipments, and hold them in the name of the State of Alabama. It gives me pleasure and pride to make known the gallantry and promptitude with which this order was responded to by the officers and men selected for that purpose. The dispatch was sent from this place at 9 a. in., and the forts, forty miles from Mobile, were taken possession of on the next night, and the arsenal, some fifty miles from Mobile, was seized about daylight next morning, and they are now held in the name of this State by her volunteer troops. In the forts were some hundred cannon—32 and 24 pounder guns—and in the arsenal about 22,000 stand of small-arms and 150,000 pounds of powder. Of the small-arms about 2,000 were Mississippi rifles and the remainder muskets. I directed the officers in command at these posts to make out an accurate inventory of the arms and materials thus obtained. As soon as I was informed that these posts were in possession of the troops of the State I communicated the facts to the President of the United States, with a summary of the reasons which induced my action, to which he has not replied. If more specific information of the arms and conditions of the forts is desired I will furnish it with pleasure. . . .
. . . I would also suggest that the General Assembly make provision for raising, arming, and officering a regular force of troops of the State, and adopt such army regulations therefor as may be necessary. The regulations for the Army of the United States might form a basis for the system. Enlistments for twelve months, two years, or to the close of hostilities might be adopted, to be ended when the necessity for their services shall cease. In the latter case it might be well to provide, when they are discharged, for a bounty to be paid them.
The mode of furnishing officers for such a force is one of some difficulty. Whether the commissioned officers should be selected by the men over whom they are to exercise command, or be appointed in some other way, I leave to the wisdom of your bodies. But I would recommend where companies, battalions, or regiments offer their services as such, to serve for the time specified in the regulations, that they be allowed to select their own commissioned officers.
In making this suggestion for a regular force I am not to be understood as expressing a want of confidence in the patriotism of our militia, and especially the volunteers. Their bravery and patriotism have been too well established to entertain a doubt that they would acquit themselves on all proper occasions in such manner as to add increased honor to their achievements in the field. Experience has proved that, however efficient such troops are for sudden occasions or for short campaigns, it will not do to rely upon them to sustain a long, protracted contest. The greatest difficulties experienced by General Washington in the Revolutionary war, and by General Jackson in his Creek campaigns, arose from the expiration of the term of service of the militia under their commands. Moreover, it is probable that the principal service demanded by the State from her troops will be in garrison, and he who has seen service of that character knows how tedious and irksome such a life is to the citizen soldier. . . .
. . . At your last session the General Assembly made an appropriation for the purchase of arms and ammunition, under the direction of this department. I have purchased about 9,000 stand of small-arms, 10 brass rifled cannon (6-pounders) and 2 columbiads, 20,000 pounds of lead, 700 kegs of powder of 28 pounds each, and 1,500,000 caps. The cannon have not yet arrived, but I am expecting them daily. . . .
A. B. Moore (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, pp. 47-52)
14. From the beginning of the attempt of Governor Rector to take over the Little Rock Arsenal from the command of James Totten, letters of caution began pouring in to the Governor’s office from concerned individuals. The primary concern was that Arkansas had not yet formally seceded from the Union and many knowledgeable officials and citizens warned the governor that his action was premature and could lead to great embarrassment to the state government. Following are several of those letters and telegrams relating to this episode:
14a. U. S. SENATE, Washington, February 7, 1861.
His Excellency II. M. RECTOR, Little Rock, Ark.:
The motives which impelled capture of forts in other States do not exist in ours. It is all premature. We implore you prevent attack on arsenal if Totten resists.
R. W. JOHNSON, W. K. SEBASTIAN. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 681)
14b. WASHINGTON, February 7, 1861.
R. H. JOHNSON, JAMES B. JOHNSON, Little Rock:
Southern States which captured forts were in the act of seceding, were threatened with troops, and their ports and commerce endangered. Not so with us. If Totten resists, for God’s sake deliberate and go stop the assault.
R. W. JOHNSON. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 681-82)
14c. WASHINGTON, February 7, 1861.
JOHN POPE, Esq., Little Rock, Ark.:
For God’s sake do not complicate matters by an attack. It will be premature and do incalculable injury. We cannot justify it. The reasons that existed elsewhere for seizure do not exist with us.
ALBERT PIKE, R. W. JOHNSON. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 682)
14d. WASHINGTON, February 8, 1861.
His Excellency Gov. HENRY M. RECTOR, Little Rock:
Don’t attack arsenal unless success is certain. Repulse would be disgraceful. Pledge might be required not to remove or injure arms and munitions without notice. Please telegraph us.
R. W. JOHNSON, T. C. HINDMAN. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 683)
14e. U. S. SENATE, February 9 1861.
R. H. JOHNSON, Little Rock, Ark.:
Arsenal yours. Thank God! Hold it. My address mailed to-night. Publish it quick. Peace Congress no use; failure.
R. W. JOHNSON. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 683)
15. [From Journal of the Provisional Congress.] MONDAY, February 18, 1861.
At 1 p. m. the President elect of the Confederate States of America, escorted by the Vice-President and the committee of arrangements, appeared within the hall of Congress, and was escorted to the chair, supported on his right by the Vice-President and on his left by the president of Congress. On motion of Mr. Chilton, the Congress then repaired, in company with the President elect, to the front of the Capitol for the purpose of inaugurating the President. The president of the Congress presented the President elect to the Congress. The Rev. Dr. Basil Manly, as chaplain of the day, offered prayer. The President elect then delivered his inaugural address, after which the oath of office was administered to him by the president of the Congress. On motion of Mr. Chilton, the Congress returned to its hall, accompanied by the President of the Confederate States. On motion of Mr. Chilton, it was ordered that the inaugural address of the President be spread upon the journal of this body, and that 5,000 copies thereof be printed for the use of the Congress. And then the Congress adjourned. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 103)
16. AN ACT to provide for munitions of war, and for other purposes.
Approved February 20, 1861.
SEC. 1. Be it enacted by the Confederate States of America in Congress assembled, That the President, or the Secretary of War under his direction, is hereby authorized and empowered to make contracts for the purchase and manufacture of heavy ordnance and small arms; and of machinery for the manufacture or alteration of small-arms and munitions of war, and to employ the necessary agents and artisans for these purposes; and to make contracts for the establishment of powder mills and the manufacture of powder; and the President is authorized to make contracts provided for in this act, in such manner and on such terms as in his judgment the public exigencies may require. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 106)
17. AN ACT to establish the War Department.
Approved February 21, 1861.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That an executive department be, and the same is hereby, established, under the name of the War Department, the chief officer of which shall be called the Secretary of War.
SEC. 2. Be it further enacted, That said Secretary shall, under the direction and control of the President, have charge of all matters and things connected with the Army, and with the Indian tribes within the limits of the Confederacy, and shall perform such duties appertaining to the Army, and to said Indian tribes, as may from time to time be assigned to him by the President.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of said Department is hereby authorized to appoint a chief clerk thereof, and as many inferior clerks as may be found necessary and may be authorized by law. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 106)
18. MONTGOMERY, ALA., February 21, 1861.
Capt. R. Semmes:
DEAR SIR: As agent of the Confederate States you are authorized to proceed, as hereinafter set forth, to make purchases and contracts for machinery and munitions, or for the manufacture of arms and munitions of war. Of the proprietor of the Hazard Powder Company, in Connecticut, you will probably be able to obtain cannon and musket powder, the former to be of the coarsest grain, and also to engage with him for the establishment of a powder mill at some point in the limits of our territory. The quantity of powder to be supplied immediately will exceed his stock on hand, and the arrangement for further supply should, if possible, be by manufacture in our own territory. If this is not practicable, means must be sought for further shipments from any and all sources which are reliable. At the arsenal at Washington you will find an artificer named Wright, who has brought the cap-making machine to its present state of efficiency, and who might furnish a cap machine and accompany it to direct its operations. If not in this, I hope you may in some way be able to obtain a cap machine with little delay, and have it sent to the Mount Vernon Arsenal, Ala. We shall require a manufactory of friction-primers, and will, if possible, induce some capable person to establish one in our country. The demand of the Confederate States will be the inducement in this as in the case of the powder mill proposed. A short time since the most improved machinery for the manufacture of rifles, intended for the Harper’s Ferry Arsenal, was, it was said, for sale by the manufacturer. If it be so at this time, you will procure it for this Government, and use the needful precaution in relation to its transportation. Mr. Barbour, the superintendent of the Harper’s Ferry Armory, can give you all the information in that connection which you may require. Mr. Ball, the master armorer at Harper’s Ferry, is willing to accept service under our Government, and could probably bring with him some skilled workmen. If we get the machinery this will be important. Machinery for grooving muskets and heavy guns, with persons skilled in their use, is, I hope, to be purchased ready-made. If not, you will contract for their manufacture and delivery. You will endeavor to obtain the most improved shot for rifled cannon, and persons skilled in the preparation of shot and other fixed ammunition. Capt. G. W. Smith and Captain Lovell, late of the U. S. Army, and now of New York City, may aid you in your task; and you will please say to them that we would be happy to have their services in our army. You will make such inquiries as your varied knowledge will suggest in relation to the supply of guns of different calibers, especially the largest. I suggest the advantage, if to be obtained, of having a few of the 15-inch guns like the one cast at Pittsburg. I have not sought to prescribe so as to limit your inquiries, either as to object or place, but only to suggest for your reflection and consideration the points which have chanced to come under my observation. You will use your discretion in visiting places where information of persons or things is to be obtained for the furtherance of the object in view. Any contracts made will be sent to the Hon. L. P. Walker, Secretary of War, for his approval, and the contractor need not fear that delay will be encountered in the action of this Government.
Very respectfully, yours, &c.,
JEFFERSON DAVIS. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, pp. 106-07)
19. EXECUTIVE OFFICE, February 26, 1861.
GENTLEMEN OF THE CONGRESS:
Though the General Government of the Confederate States is specially charged with the questions arising from the present condition of Forts Sumter and Pickens, and the Executive is required by negotiation or other means to obtain possession of those works, and though the common defense and the issues of peace or war of the Confederate States must necessarily be conducted by their general agents, the only material of war which we possess is held by the authorities of the several States. To distribute the arms and munitions so as best to provide for the defense of the country, it is needful that they be placed under the control of the General Government. We have now but little information as to the quantity and quality of the military supplies on hand, and have no authority to call for returns from the officers of the States. The courtesy and patriotism of the respective Governors would no doubt willingly meet such inquiry, and would probably induce them to transfer either armament or stores in compliance with a requisition from this Government, but efficiency requires the exclusive control as well of the means as of the works of defense. The General Government being also charged with foreign intercourse, may have in the course of negotiation to account for the property of the United States which, as a consequence of secession, passed under the authority of the several States anterior to the formation of this Government. For these considerations I respectfully suggest that the proper legislation be adopted to secure the transfer of all arms and munitions now in the forts, arsenals, and navy-yards to the custody of the Government of the Confederate States, and that full returns be made of all arms and munitions which have been distributed from the public stores to the troops of the several States, with authority to this Government to take charge of the accountability for them, and also to receive, to be accounted for to the several States, such arms and munitions as have been purchased by them, and which they are willing to devote to the common service of the Confederacy. The difficulty of supplying our wants in that regard by purchases abroad or by manufacture at home is well known to the Congress, and will render unnecessary an argument to enforce the general policy herein presented, and I have only respectfully to commend the subject to your consideration.
JEFF’N DAVIS. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, pp. 113-14)
20. AN ACT to raise provisional forces for the Confederate States of America, and for
other purposes. Approved February 28, 1861.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That to enable the Government of the Confederate States to maintain its jurisdiction over all questions of peace and war, and to provide for the public defense, the President be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to assume control of all military operations in every State having reference to or connection with questions between said States, or any of them, and powers foreign to them.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the President is hereby authorized to receive from the several States the arms and munitions of war which have been acquired from the United States, and which are now in the forts, arsenals, and navy-yards of the said States, and all other arms and munitions which they may desire to turn over and make chargeable to this Government.
SEC. 3. Be it further enacted, That the President be authorized to receive into the service of this Government such forces now in the service of said States as may be tendered, or who may volunteer, by consent of their State, in such numbers as he may require, for any time not less than twelve months, unless sooner discharged.
SEC. 4. Be it further enacted, That such forces may be received, with their officers, by companies, battalions, or regiments, and when so received shall form a part of the Provisional Army of the Confederate States, according to the terms of their enlistment; and the President shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of Congress, such general officer or officers for said forces as may be necessary for the service.
SEC. 5. Be it further enacted, That said forces, when received into the service of this Government, shall have the same pay and allowances as may be provided by law for volunteers entering the service, or for the Army of the Confederate States, and shall be subject to the same rules and government. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 117)
21. RICHMOND, VA., February 28, 1861.
Hon. L. P. WALKER , Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to report that I arrived in Washington, D.C., on the evening of Sunday last, in execution of the orders confided to me by His Excellency the President of the Confederate States. On the next day I sought the artificer, Wright, at the U. S. Arsenal in that city, and had a conference with him on the subject of his percussion-cap machine. This machine, which is patented, and which up to the present time has been in the exclusive use of the United States, cannot be purchased ready made. Wright seemed to be quite willing, however, in my first interview with him, to contract with me for the making of one (the work to be executed in a private shop in Philadelphia, where several have been made for export to Europe), but was, I thought, unreasonable in his demands of compensation. The machine may be made, with all its appurtenances complete, for the sum of $1,450, but he demanded an additional sum of $3,000 for the use of his patent and for his personal superintendence of the manufacture of the machine. On the evening of the same day on which I held this conversation with him at the arsenal he called to see me by appointment, and after some little preliminary conversation said that he would prefer, before entering into any contract with me, to obtain the consent of his commanding officer at the arsenal, as otherwise he might lose his place, which was valuable to him. I had no objection to make to this, of course, as I claimed the right not only to contract with any artisan in the employment of the Government of the United States on any subject of private concern, as was this matter of the patent of a machine, but to induce him by an offer of higher pay to leave his employment and accept service under our Government. He promised to call on me the next day and give me his final answer.
In the mean time, hearing that Major Barbour, superintendent of the Harper’s Ferry Armory, with whom I was directed to confer with regard to the purchase of the machinery for making rifles, was in Richmond, in attendance on the State convention, I returned to this place yesterday to meet him, leaving the matter of the contract with Wright in the hands of a friend, whom I directed to offer Wright the sum of $3,000 for one of his machines delivered in Savannah, and further to agree with him that if he would accompany it himself and superintend its working and such other duties of an arsenal as might be assigned to him, we would give him a salary of $1,500 per annum. His present pay is $1,250. On the whole I think it doubtful whether we shall get either the machine or the man. If we do not, I think I shall have no difficulty in purchasing or in having made at short notice a machine such as is in common use, and which will be very nearly as good as Wright’s, in New York, or in Springfield, Mass., at both of which places cap making is conducted on a large scale.
Returning to Major Barbour, this gentleman conferred with me with great freedom and frankness, and expressed a desire to do anything in his power to oblige us. He gave me all the information I desired about the machinery I was in pursuit of. It is still unsold, and may no doubt be purchased. It belongs to Ames, the manufacturer of arms at Springfield, Mass. I will proceed to Springfield and see if I can contract for it.
I have had a conference at this place with Captain Dimmock, the superintendent of the State arsenal, who promises to aid me in any manner in his power. If I find difficulty in shipping powder or other munitions direct from the Northern ports, the captain will receive and forward for me. I visited also the Tredegar Foundry at this place, and was surprised to find so large and well-appointed an establishment. It has great facilities for founding cannon and casting shot and shell, and being within slave territory, will be a great resource for us if we are put upon our defense. I intended to contract with this establishment for some heavy ordnance, such as 10-inch, 8-inch, and 42-ponnder guns, and for shot and shell; but I was informed that Mr. Anderson, one of the partners, had gone to Montgomery for this very purpose. This gentleman being with you, you will be enabled to contract with him in person, and thus relieve me of a portion of my responsibility. I can recommend his establishment as being a very reliable one. It employs 700 workmen, and is probably the largest foundry in the United States. Any communications addressed to me at Washington City, to the care of Richard II. Clarke, esq., will be promptly forwarded to me by this gentleman.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, &c.,
RAPHAEL SEMMES. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, pp. 118-19)
22. CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Montgomery, March 8, 1861.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of Confederate States of America:
SIR: Since my communication of the 4th instant, [Ser. 1, Vol. 1, p. 261] in which I had the honor to submit the Army estimates for twelve months, the Congress has passed an act authorizing the President to call into the service of the Confederate States any number of volunteers, not exceeding 100,000. The estimates heretofore submitted by me were based upon the bills pending before Congress and afterward passed, and were only intended for the provisional forces and the Army. Under these circumstances I deem it proper to call your attention to this fact, and to suggest an additional appropriation by Congress of $5,000,000 for the volunteer service, in the event it should become necessary to organize such a force.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 134)
23. AN ACT making additional appropriations for the support of the Army for the year ending the 1st of March, 1862.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the following sum be, and the same is hereby, appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, namely: For the purchase of ordnance and ordnance stores, $110,000.
Approved March 16, 1861. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 173)
24. SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 17.}
ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Montgomery, April 8, 1861.
I. Maj. Josiah Gorgas, of the Corps of Artillery and Ordnance, is assigned to duty as chief of the Bureau of Ordnance.
II. Capt. John Withers, assistant adjutant-general, is assigned to duty in the Adjutant-General’s Office from the 3d instant.
* * * * * * * * * * *
By order of the Secretary of War:
Adjutant-General. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 211)
25. ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Montgomery, April 15, 1861.
Capt. CALEB HUSE, Corps of Artillery, Confederate States, on ordnance duty:
SIR: You are hereby directed to proceed to Europe, without unnecessary delay, as the agent of this Government, for the purchase of ordnance, arms, equipments, and military stores for its use. Detailed instructions as to the nature and extent of those purchases and as to their shipment, with a view to speedy and safe transit, will be given to you by the chief of the Bureau of Ordnance. You will, in addition to these duties, execute such instructions as may be given to you by heads of other departments of this Government in reference to their several departments. You will keep this Department constantly advised of your address, and after executing the instructions now given to you and such as may hereafter be sent to you, you will return and report yourself in person to the War Department.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Adjutant and Inspector General. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 220)
26. SAINT JOSEPH, Mo., April 15, 1861.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the Confederate States, Montgomery, Ala.:
SIR.: Not knowing the name of your adjutant-general or any other proper person to make the inquiries of which I desire, I have taken the liberty of addressing you direct.
I am anxious to know whether the Confederate States desire volunteers from the border States, and if there is any regular arrangement for their reception, or whether it is necessary to have any authority from your Government before volunteers should be raised.
My object in asking is that, should Missouri refuse to join her Southern sisters, I desire and intend to move South, and I can, if acceptable, bring one, two, or three companies of as good and true men as the Southern sun ever shone on, if I can assure them that their officers will be confirmed and commissioned by your Government.
I would respectfully refer you to Hon. Luther Glen, commissioner from Georgia to Missouri, or Hon. _______ Russell, commissioner from Mississippi to Missouri, or his Excellency C. F. Jackson, governor of Missouri.
M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Colonel,
Inspector Fourth Military District Missouri Militia. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 684)
27. WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Montgomery, April 16, 1861.
Hon. T. C. HINDMAN, Helena, Ark.:
SIR: In reply to your inquiries in regard to the policy of this Government on the subject of accepting military aid from Southern States which are not yet members of the Confederacy, and especially as to Arkansas, I beg leave to state that thus far this department has thought proper to decline for the present all tenders from those States, simply because the forces easily and rapidly raised in convenient proximity to the scenes of operation have been ample for all the needs of the country.
Since the forced surrender of Fort Sumter to the forces of the Confederate States, followed by a most warlike proclamation from the Executive of the Washington Government, the probability that serious and perhaps long-continued hostilities will ensue is greatly increased.
If the war shall be commenced with the spirit which seems to animate our enemies, there is every reason to anticipate the operations of both the belligerents will be conducted on a much more imposing scale than this continent has ever witnessed; and I may add that the general opinion preponderates strongly in that direction.
While this Government has an unfaltering confidence in the means and resources, pecuniary, moral, and military, of the Confederate States, as they now exist, to defend themselves against all assaults and to repel all their enemies, it yet by no means undervalues the assistance which it is in the power of the border slave States to render; and of these latter there is no one to which the people of this Confederacy have looked with more undoubting confidence for cordial sympathy and support than the State of Arkansas.
It is not possible yet to state absolutely that this Government will be in condition to need forces drawn from any State not in the Confederacy, but it is extremely probable that in the event of war (now, in its widest sense, apparently inevitable), which shall continue through the approaching summer, a brigade organized in conformity to the act of Congress "to provide for the public defense," will be gladly accepted at an early day in the next fall—say about the middle or last of August. Such a military organization, if required, as I think it will be, would be composed of course, as similar organizations will be, from the several Confederate States. It would be expected to elect its own officers, but would be subject to the control of such field officers as the President of the Confederate States might place over it.
All the signs of the times, as I view them, so conclusively favor the belief that war in its sternest phase is upon us, that I have not hesitated to intimate how strongly we rely on your State for active co-operation in what is, after all, a common defense. That she will prove true to herself, and so prove true to this Confederacy, I never for a moment have questioned.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. P. WALKER. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, pp. 684-85)
28. MONTGOMERY, April 20, 1861.
Armaments of Forts Moultrie, Sumter, and Castle Pinckney (to which must be added the purchase made since by South Carolina).— Ten-inch columbiads, 3; 8-inch columbiads, 20; 8-inch sea-coast howitzers, 10; 42-pounder guns (estimated), 24; 32-pounder guns (estimated), 55; 24-pounder guns (estimated), 33 (purchases from Citadel in Charleston); 10-inch sea-coast and siege mortars, 16, and 9-inch heavy guns, 2, with a large supply of shot, shell, grape, and canister, and nearly 180,000 pounds of cannon powder (part purchased by the State); 40,000 pounds of musket powder (part purchased by the State); 40,000 pounds of rifle powder (part purchased by the State); 450,000 percussion-caps (part purchased by the State); 20,000 friction-tubes (part purchased by the State), and 52,000 pounds of lead (pig).
Fort Pulaski.—Thirty-two pounder guns, 20. Not known what additions have been made. There is a good supply of ammunition.
Forts in Pensacola Harbor.—Ten-inch columbiads, 3; 8-inch columbiads, 12; 42-pounder guns, 24; 32-pounder guns, 34; 24-pounder guns, 75; 18-pounder guns, 5; 12-pounder guns, 2; 8-inch sea-coast howitzers, 3; 24-pounder howitzers (for flank defense), 8; 8-inch navy guns, 2; total guns and howitzers, 169; 13-inch mortars, 2; 10-inch mortars, 1, and Coehorn mortars, 6; total mortars, 9. A good supply of shot, shell, grape, and canister on hand and making at Mobile.
Fort Morgan.—Ten-inch columbiads, 2; 8-inch columbiads, 2; 32- pounder guns, 64; 24-pounder guns, 15; 24-pounder howitzers (flank defense), 20; 10-inch mortars, 2, and 6-pounder field guns, 2; total, 107; 34,000 pounds of cannon powder and 550 muskets and rifles.
Fort Pike.—Twenty-four-pounder guns; 18; 24-pounder howitzers (flank defense), 9; total, 27; 5,600 pounds of cannon powder and good supply of balls, strap-shot, and canister.
Forts Jackson and Saint Philip.—Eight-inch columbiads, 7; 24-pounder guns, 50; 24-pounder guns (flank defense), 9; 32-pounder guns, 14; total, 80; 36,000 pounds of cannon powder and supply of shot and shell.
Ten-inch columbiads, 8; 8-inch columbiads, 41; 24-pounder guns, 191; 24-pounder guns (flank defense), 9; 32-pounder guns, 188; 24-pounder howitzers (flank defense), 37; 10-inch mortars, 19; 6-pounder field guns, 2; 42-pounder guns, 48; 18-pounder guns, 5; 12-pounder guns, 2; 8-inch sea-coast howitzers, 13; 8-inch navy guns, 2; 13-inch mortars, 2; Coehorn mortars, 6, and 9-inch navy guns, 2; in fortifications, 375.
At arsenals.—Thirty-two pounder guns, 40; 24-pounder guns, 3; 24-pounder howitzers (for flank defense), 6, and 8 and 10 inch mortars, 5; total in fortifications and arsenals, 429.
Field pieces in store at forts.—Six-pounder guns, 14; 12-pounder howitzers, 9; 24-pounder howitzers, 1; mountain howitzers, 5, and 6-pounder rifled guns, 6; total on hand, 35.
Ordered and expected.—Six-pounder guns, 4; 12-pounder howitzers, 2; 6-pounder steel guns (rifled), 6, and rounds of projectiles for the above, 27,518.
Powder.—Cannon powder at forts and arsenals, 329,145 pounds; musket powder at forts and arsenals, 91,709 pounds, and rifle powder in forts and arsenals, 70,257; total powder in forts and arsenals, 491,091 pounds. Small-arms cartridges of all kinds and in store at arsenals, 3,200,000.
Small-arms in hands of troops and at arsenals.—Rifled muskets, 1,765; percussion muskets, 60,886; muskets altered to percussion, 19,556; muskets (flint-lock), 8,283; percussion rifles, 6,990; Hall rifles, 5,001; Colt rifles, 73; carbines, 735; percussion pistols, 2,408, and Colt pistols, 468; total, 106,165.
Swords, sabers, &c.—Cavalry sabers, 407; cavalry sabers (model of 1840), 808; horse artillery sabers, 499, and artillery swords, 344; total, 2,058.
A considerable portion of the above arms have been issued to troops in the several States. Returns from the various forts and arsenals are very imperfect and sometimes wholly wanting. The foregoing statements do not, therefore, exhibit the entire quantity of material on hand.
Major and Chief of Ordnance, C. S. Army. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, pp. 227-28)
29. MONTGOMERY, April 22, 1861.
Governor B. MAGOFFIN, Frankfort, Ky.:
SIR: Your patriotic response to the requisition of the President of the United States for troops to coerce the Confederate States justifies the belief that your people are prepared to unite with us in repelling the common enemy of the South. Virginia needs our aid. I therefore request you to furnish one regiment of infantry without delay, to rendezvous at Harper’s Ferry, Va. It must consist of ten companies of not less than sixty-four men each. The regiment will be entitled to one colonel, one lieutenant-colonel, one major, one adjutant from the line of lieutenants, one sergeant-major from the enlisted men. Each company is entitled to one captain, one first lieutenant, two second lieutenants, four sergeants, four corporals, and two musicians.
The officers, except staff officers, are to be appointed in the manner prescribed by the law of your State. Staff officers are appointed by the President; the term of service not less than twelve months, unless sooner discharged. They will be mustered into the service of the Confederate States at Harper’s Ferry, but transportation and subsistence will be provided from the point of departure. They will furnish their own uniform, but will receive its value in commutation. Arms and ammunition will be sent to Harper’s Ferry or such point as you may designate. Answer, and say whether you will comply with this request, and if so, when.
L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, pp. 231-32)
(The same, mutatis mutandis, to the Governor of Arkansas, for one regiment, to rendezvous at Lynchburg, Va.; North Carolina, for one regiment, to rendezvous at Richmond, Va.; Tennessee, for three regiments, to rendezvous at Lynchburg, Va.)
30. EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Little Rock, Ark., April 22, 1861.
Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War, Washington City:
In answer to your requisition for troops from Arkansas to subjugate the Southern States, I have to say that none will be furnished. The demand is only adding insult to injury. The people of this commonwealth are freemen, not slaves, and will defend to the last extremity their honor, lives, and property against Northern mendacity and usurpation.
H. M. RECTOR,
Governor of Arkansas. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 687)
31. MONTGOMERY, April 22 1861.
Gov. HENRY M. RECTOR, Little Rock, Ark.:
SIR: Your patriotic response to the requisition of the President of the United States for troops to coerce the Confederate States justifies the belief that your people are prepared to unite with us in repelling the common enemy of the South. Virginia needs our aid. I therefore request you to furnish one regiment of infantry without delay, to rendezvous at Lynchburg, Va. It must consist of ten companies, of not less than sixty-four men each. The regiment will be entitled to one colonel, one lieutenant-colonel, one major, one adjutant from the line of lieutenants, one sergeant-major from the enlisted men. Each company is entitled to one captain, one first lieutenant, two second lieutenants, four sergeants, four corporals, and two musicians. The officers, except the staff officers, are to be appointed in the manner prescribed by the law of your State. Staff officers are appointed by the President; the term of service not less than twelve months, unless sooner discharged. They will be mustered into the service at Lynchburg, but transportation and subsistence will be provided from the point of departure. They will furnish their own uniform, but will receive its value in commutation. You have arms and ammunition with which to supply them. Answer and say whether you will comply with this request, and, if so, when.
L. P. WALKER. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 687)
32. LITTLE ROCK, April 23, 1861.
L P. WALKER:
You may be assured of the immediate action of Arkansas in joining the Southern Confederacy; but I have no power, I regret, to comply with your request. Our convention assembles on the 6th of May. Then we can and will aid.
H. M. RECTOR,
Governor [of] Arkansas. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 687)
33. LITTLE ROCK ARK., April 23, 1861.
L. P. WALKER:
Governor Rector, not being free as yet to send the regiment requested by the Secretary of War, has placed in the hands of the undersigned the dispatch. Will the President accept a regiment raised by the undersigned, complying in all other respects with the requisition of the Secretary? Further, the governor has agreed to arm and equip the regiment when rendezvoused at Little Rock Arsenal.
T. B. FLOURNOY, Colonel.
JNO. B. THOMPSON Lieutenant-Colonel.
W. N. BROUGNAH.
JAS. B. JOHNSON. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 688)
34. MONTGOMERY, ALA., April 23, 1861.
His Excellency C. F. JACKSON, Governor of Missouri:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge yours of the 17th instant, borne by Captains Green and Duke, and have most cordially welcomed the fraternal assurances it brings.
A misplaced but generous confidence has, for years past, prevented the Southern States from making the preparation required by the present emergency, and our power to supply you with ordnance is far short of the will to serve you. After learning as well as I could from the gentlemen accredited to me what was most needful for the attack on the arsenal, I have directed that Captains Green and Duke should be furnished with two 12-pounder howitzers and two 32-pounder guns, with the proper ammunition for each. These, from the commanding hills, will be effective, both against the garrison and to breach the inclosing walls of the place. I concur with you as to the great importance of capturing the arsenal and securing its supplies, rendered doubly important by the means taken to obstruct your commerce and render you unarmed victims of a hostile invasion.
We look anxiously and hopefully for the day when the star of Missouri shall be added to the constellation of the Confederate States of America.
With best wishes, I am, very respectfully, yours,
JEFFERSON DAVIS. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 688)
35. LITTLE ROCK, ARK., April 24, 1861.
L. P. WALKER:
After the governor promised the arms he was forced to send them to the frontier, to protect the State against invasion. There are now no arms but flint-locks. Can you furnish us arms? Answer quick. Companies are waiting your response.
T. B. FLOURNOY. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 688)
36. LITTLE ROCK, ARK., April 25, 1861.
Hon. L. P. WALKER:
You will have to arm us. There are only thirteen hundred and sixty-four percussion guns; balance flint-locks. The governor has employed the percussion guns to protect the frontier, and declines now giving us any until the convention meets on the 6th May. A favorable answer desired. The men will rendezvous at once. We will inform you when ready to embark and the route.
T. B. FLOURNOY. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, pp. 688-89)
37. ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE,
Montgomery, April 25, 1861.
Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, Montgomery, Ala.:
SIR: In compliance with your instructions I have the honor to submit the following report: The organization of the Army has progressed as far as the number of officers appointed would justify. The several staff departments have been arranged to some extent, but there are still in those several vacancies yet to be filled. Nearly one-third of the officers of artillery have been appointed out of 172 authorized by law. The officers for two of the six regiments of infantry authorized have been appointed and organized into two regiments, but as yet only eight officers have been appointed for the single regiment of cavalry. The recruiting service has been commenced in various sections of the country, and speedy and favorable results are anticipated; but the want of a regularly organized force for the permanent army has not been so much felt on account of the ready response to the call made on the several States for volunteers. On the 9th of March a requisition was made on the States of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana for 8,000 volunteers. South Carolina, at that time having upward of 5,000 of her own troops in the State service in Charleston Harbor, was not called upon for her quota.
This requisition was soon filled and the troops put in position. Again, on the 8th of April a requisition was made for 20,000 volunteers from the several States, to be held in readiness for service. This requisition has also been filled promptly. And, finally, a further requisition, on the 16th of the same month, for 34,000 volunteers, making in all upward of 62,000 troops, independently of the 5,000 South Carolina State troops in the harbor of Charleston, above referred to. Of this whole number more than 25,000, including those in Charleston Harbor, are in position on our southern sea-board and the frontier of Texas, leaving the remainder for operations elsewhere. Since the 16th of April further calls have been made for 15,000 additional volunteers, and they are now being sent forward to their destination. As a copy of the correspondence of the commanding general in Charleston accompanies this report, I would respectfully refer you to it for a detail of the military operations in the harbor. [See Series 1, Volume 1]
The several permanent fortifications which guard the approaches to the harbors on the southern coast are in a state of defense, and are occupied by garrisons for a state of war, the largest portion of this force being distributed at several points in the harbor of Pensacola, including the permanent works of Fort McRee and Barrancas. This force consists of over 8,000 men. I would respectfully invite your attention to the following remarks in respect to the present organization of the Army. Under existing laws the military establishment consists of the following staff departments, corps, and regiments, viz:
Adjutant-General’s Department. —Two lieutenant-colonels, two majors, and four captains.
Quartermaster-General’s Department.—One colonel, one lieutenant-colonel, and four majors.
Commissary-General’s Department. —One colonel, one lieutenant-colonel, one major, and three captains.
Medical Department.—One surgeon-general, four surgeons, and six assistant surgeons.
Corps of Engineers.—One colonel, four majors, and five captains.
Corps Artillery and Ordnance.—One colonel, one lieutenant- colonel, ten majors, forty captains, eighty first lieutenants, forty second lieutenants for forty companies, one regiment of cavalry, and six regiments of infantry.
This force can scarcely be deemed sufficient for a state of war, in which we are about to engage, and for the protection of our Indian and other frontiers, when it is recollected that the permanent peace establishment of the United States is not less than 18,000 troops, composed of not less than nineteen regiments, with a complete staff on a war footing. I would therefore suggest, as an approximation to a proper organization at this time, that the present authorized force of the Regular Army of the Confederate States be increased by one regiment of cavalry and two regiments of infantry as at present organized, and that there be added to the Adjutant-General’s Department two captains, to the Quartermaster’s Department two majors and six captains, to the Commissary-General’s Department three captains, to the Medical Department six surgeons and fourteen assistant surgeons (the Medical Department of the U. S. Army consists of thirty surgeons and eighty-four assistant surgeons), to the Corps of Engineers five captains, to the Corps of Artillery one lieutenant-colonel, two majors, and as many military store-keepers, with the pay and allowance of captain of infantry, as the service may require, not to exceed six, and an ordnance-sergeant for each military post.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Adjutant and inspector General. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, pp. 252-53)
38. MONTGOMERY, April 26, 1861.
Gov. C. F. JACKSON, Jefferson City, Mo.:
Can you arm and equip one regiment of infantry for service in Virginia, to rendezvous at Richmond? Transportation will be provided by this Government. The regiment to elect its own officers, and must enlist for not less than twelve months, unless sooner discharged.
L. P. WALKER. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 689)
39. WAR DEPARTMENT, April 27, 1861.
SIR: In compliance with your direction I have the honor to submit to you the following report: The Department of War was created by an act approved on the 21st of February last. The condition of the country demanded that not only an organization of the Department proper should be made as speedily as possible, but that preparation should be made at the same time, in view of the contingency of immediate hostilities, for organizing the forces provided by law and of so disposing them that they might act with promptness and efficiency at whatever points the exigencies of the Confederacy might require. This has been necessarily a task of great labor, and, within the period allowed me, one of almost insuperable difficulties. . . .
The Bureau of Ordnance, attached to the Corps of Artillery, has been placed under the direction of Maj. J. Gorgas, as acting chief. The estimates for this branch of the service for the remainder of the fiscal year are embodied in his report, marked D, [not found] and herewith submitted. The report of the Engineer Bureau, marked E, [not found] also under charge of Maj. J. Gorgas, furnishes the estimates which will be required for the service of that department. A statement, marked F, [not found] of the several appropriations made by Congress for the support of the Regular Army, and the purchase of ordnance and ordnance stores for the support of the volunteer forces called into service under the act "to provide for the public defense, for the support of 5,000 men for twelve months at Charleston, and for the support of the War Department proper," together with the expenditures, is herewith transmitted. . . .
. . . Under the resolutions of Congress approved March 15, recommending to the several States "to cede to the Confederate States the forts, arsenals, navy-yards, dock-yards, and other public establishments within their respective limits," such cessions have already been made and the establishments specified have been formally transferred to this Government by each of the States. . . .
I would fail in my duty if I did not earnestly recommend that an appropriation be made for the establishment of powder mills and for the purchase of the materials of which gunpowder is composed. This has become the more necessary in consequence of the closing of the channels through which we have been heretofore supplied. This subject is of such obvious and paramount importance that I deem it sufficient merely to mention it. . . .
I cannot more appropriately conclude this report than by urging upon Congress the passage of a law empowering this Department to appoint chaplains for the service. Military experience demonstrates the importance of religious habitudes to the morality, good order, and general discipline of an army in the camp or in the field. If we expect God to bless us in our struggle in defense of our rights—to terminate, in all probability, only after a protracted and bloody war— we must recognize Him in our actions.
All which is respectfully submitted.
L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, pp. 247-52)
40. MONTGOMERY, April 29, 1861.
GENTLEMEN OF THE CONGRESS:
It is my pleasing duty to announce to you that the Constitution framed for the establishment of a permanent Government for the Confederate States has been ratified by conventions in each of those States to which it was referred. To inaugurate the Government in its full proportions and upon its own substantial basis of the popular will, it only remains that elections should be held for the designation of the officers to administer it. There is every reason to believe that at no distant day other States, identified in political principles and community of interests with those which you represent, will join this Confederacy, giving to its typical constellation increased splendor, to its Government of free, equal, and sovereign States a wider sphere of usefulness, and to the friends of constitutional liberty a greater security for its harmonious and perpetual existence. It was not, however, for the purpose of making this announcement that I have deemed it my duty to convoke you at an earlier day than that fixed by yourselves for your meeting. The declaration of war made against this Confederacy by Abraham Lincoln, the President of the United States, in his proclamation issued on the 15th day of the present month, rendered it necessary, in my judgment, that you should convene at the earliest practicable moment to devise the measures necessary for the defense of the country. The occasion is indeed an extraordinary one. It justifies me in a brief review of the relations heretofore existing between us and the States which now unite in warfare against us and in a succinct statement of the events which have resulted in this warfare, to the end that mankind may pass intelligent and impartial judgment on its motives and objects. . . .
The Secretary of War in his report and accompanying documents conveys full information concerning the forces—regular, volunteer, and provisional—raised and called for under the several acts of Congress—their organization and distribution; also an account of the expenditures already made, and the further estimates for the fiscal year ending the 18th of February, 1862, rendered necessary by recent events. I refer to his report also for a full history of the occurrences in Charleston Harbor prior to and including the bombardment and reduction of Fort Sumter, and of the measures subsequently taken for the common defense on receiving the intelligence of the declaration of war against us, made by the President of the United States. There are now in the field at Charleston, Pensacola, Forts Morgan, Jackson, Saint Philip, and Pulaski 19,000 men, and 16,000 are now en route for Virginia. It is proposed to organize and hold in readiness for instant action, in view of the present exigencies of the country, an army of 100,000 men. If further force should be needed, the wisdom and patriotism of Congress will be confidently appealed to for authority to call into the field additional numbers of our noble-spirited volunteers who are constantly tendering service far in excess of our wants.
The operations of the Navy Department have been necessarily restricted by the fact that sufficient time has not yet elapsed for the purchase or construction of more than a limited number of vessels adapted to the public service. Two vessels purchased have been named the Sumter and McRae, and are now being prepared for sea at New Orleans with all possible dispatch. Contracts have also been made at that city with two different establishments for the casting of ordnance—cannon shot and shell-—with the view to encourage the manufacture of these articles, so indispensable for our defense, at as many points within our territory as possible. I call your attention to the recommendation of the Secretary for the establishment of a magazine and laboratory for preparation of ordnance stores and the necessary appropriation for that purpose. Hitherto such stores have usually been prepared at the navy-yards, and no appropriation was made at your last session for this object. . . .
. . . We feel that our cause is just and holy; we protest solemnly in the face of mankind that we desire peace at any sacrifice save that of honor and independence; we seek no conquest, no aggrandizement, no concession of any kind from the States with which we were lately confederated; all we ask is to be let alone; that those who never held power over us shall not now attempt our subjugation by arms. This we will, this we must, resist to the direst extremity. The moment that this pretension is abandoned the sword will drop from our grasp, and we shall be ready to enter into treaties of amity and commerce that cannot but be mutually beneficial. So long as this pretension is maintained, with a firm reliance on that Divine Power which covers with its protection the just cause, we will continue to struggle for our inherent right to freedom, independence, and self-government.
JEFFERSON DAVIS. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, pp. 256-68)
41. WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Montgomery, April 29, 1861.
Col. M. J. THOMPSON, Saint Joseph, Mo.:
SIR: Your letter of the 15th of April, addressed to the President, has been referred to this Department, and I am instructed by the Secretary of War to say, in answer to your proposition, that the time is rapidly approaching, in his opinion, when, with the concurrence of the governor of Missouri, military assistance may be accepted from that State by the Confederate States. In view of this gratifying fact, those among you sympathizing with our cause would do well to organize military companies, battalions, and regiments, and hold them in readiness for action against our incendiary foe, equally hostile to the entire South.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN TYLER, JR. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 689)
42a. May 3, 1861.
Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:
DEAR SIR: I received to-day from Mr. Tate, the president of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, the inclosed letter. I am induced to send it to you because of the importance of the matters referred to and the known business character and capacity of the writer. The objects are of great moment, and this must constitute my apology for pressing anything upon your attention at a time when it is so constantly occupied.
I have the honor to be, yours, most respectfully,
ALEX. M. CLAYTON. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 276)
43b. CHARLESTON, S. C., May 1, 1861.
Hon. A. M. CLAYTON, Montgomery, Ala.:
DEAR SIR: The importance of the questions involved and the interest I know you feel in their success induces me to address you now. I know you are near the President and can get his ear. There are no provisions in the South—not enough for a full supply for sixty days. How are we to get it? The Government at Washington is making important arrangements to take Saint Louis and close the Mississippi effectually against us from Cairo up. This cuts off our last hope for a full supply of provisions and lead. By efficient action now we can save the State of Missouri to the South and keep open an outlet to an abundant supply of provisions. If we don’t aid Missouri, and that quickly, we lose both and place our enemies in a position to concentrate an army in the Northwest unmolested, with plenty to eat and fully equipped to overrun the Mississippi Valley. Governor Jackson is with us. His people are also with us, except at Saint Louis, where they are divided. The first thing we know we will be out of powder, lead, and percussion-caps. They can be had through Cuba alone at this time, and a blockade may be established that will cut off this means of supply. Our Government should act, and act with the most vigorous energy, to effect these objects at once. I am neither a politician nor a warrior. I have too much on my hands to engage actively in either. I can serve my country better in other ways. I hope you will not let our Government lose sight of the vast interests at stake in the Mississippi Valley, and by all means urge the keeping open the navigation of the Mississippi River and the possession of Saint Louis at all hazards.
SAM. TATE. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 276)
44. CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT, ORDNANCE
OFFICE, Montgomery, May 4, 1861.
Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR:
GENERAL: Permit me to suggest that in order to relieve the central Government of the multiplied calls made upon it for arms, ammunition, &c., the Governors of States be notified that arms and ammunition will be supplied to troops called out at the points where the troops are to rendezvous for active service. Let the troops be notified beforehand by the State authorities to equip themselves with such temporary knapsacks, haversacks, and canteens as each individual can prepare for himself. The central Government will supply these of good quality at the place of rendezvous as fast as they can be made. This will in a great measure prevent the perplexing and mischievous requisitions of Governors of States on the arsenals.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, &c. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 280)
45. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Jefferson City, Mo., May 5, 1861.
Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, Montgomery:
SIR: Yours of 26th ultimo via Louisville is received. I have no legal authority to furnish the men you desire. Missouri, you know, is yet under the tyranny of Lincoln’s Government, so far, at least, as forms go. We are wofully [sic] deficient here in arms, and cannot furnish them at present; but so far as men are concerned, we have plenty of them, ready, willing, and anxious to march at any moment to the defense of the South. Our legislature has just met, and I doubt not will give me all necessary authority over the matter. If you can arm the men they will go whenever wanted, and to any point where they may be most needed. I send this to Memphis by private hand, being afraid to trust our mails or telegraphs. Let me hear from you by the same means. Missouri can and will put one hundred thousand men in the field, if required. We are using every means to arm our people, and, until we are better prepared, must move cautiously. I write this in confidence.
With my prayers for your success, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. F. JACKSON,
Governor of Missouri. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 690)
46. HDQRS. FOURTH MIL. DIST., MISSOURI VOL. MILITIA, CAMP C. F. JACKSON,
NEAR SAINT JOSEPH Mo., Monday, May 6, 1861.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the Confederate States, Montgomery, Ala.:
SIR: Your favor of the 25th ultimo has been received, and I am thankful for your courtesy. I hope, and have reasonable expectations now, that Missouri will soon wheel into line with her Southern sisters, in which case I and my men will be needed here at home. I believe that this portion of Missouri (north of the Missouri River) will be the principal battle-ground between the North and the South, as Saint Joseph, with its railroad connections, is the key to Kansas, New Mexico, Jefferson, [?] and Utah, and we have already been notified that the North has determined to hold this portion of the State, even though they lose all the rest of the slaveholding States, and they will either cover it over with dollars or blood, and the choice is for us to make. I have eight companies here in a camp of instruction, by order of our governor, and can assure you that they are all Blue Cockade boys, and if our leaders are disposed to sell this territory for money, our blood will remain at your service.
Yours, most respectfully,
M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Colonel,
Inspector of Fourth Military District. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 690)
47. May 7, 1861.
Hon. F. S. Bartow, Chairman Committee of Military Affairs.
Statement of small-arms on hand at the different arsenals when taken possession of by the several States. [Information summarized from chart.]
Charleston, SC: 22,469 [Seized 30 Dec 1860; SC seceded 20 Dec 1860]
Mount Vernon, AL: 19,455 [Seized 4 Jan 1861; AL seceded 11 Jan 1861]
Baton Rouge, LA: 47,372 [Seized 10 Jan 1861; LA seceded 26 Jan 1861]
Augusta, GA: 22,714 [Seized 24 Jan 1861; GA seceded 19 Jan 1861]
Little Rock, AR: (Reported) 10,000 [Seized 8 Feb 1861; AR seceded 6 May 1861]
Fayetteville, NC: (Reported) 37,000 [Seized 22 Apr 1861; NC seceded 20 May 1861]
TOTAL 159,010 small arms
The specific types of small arms were identified and counted at each of the arsenals except Little Rock and Fayetteville, where the aggregate numbers had been reported. The total number of each type of weapon listed at the other four arsenals gives a good idea of the approximate proportion of each type of weapon on hand in the arsenals. These weapons were, in descending order of the number on hand:
Percussion Muskets, new and altered: 85,315
Harper’s Ferry Rifles [.54 or .58 caliber] 8,990
Flint-lock Muskets, [.54 caliber]: 8,283
Hall Rifles 3,001
Percussion Pistols 2,408
Rifle Muskets, U.S. Model, [58 caliber]: 1,765
Rifled Muskets, .69 caliber: 972
Carbines, various patterns 735
Colt Pistols 468
Colt Rifles [.58 caliber] 73
A portion of the arms at the [Mount Vernon] arsenal had already been removed at the date of the report rendered. Of cartridges for small-arms, there are on hand at all the arsenals, number, 3,200,000. Of musket and rifle powder, there are now on hand, pounds, 168,000. (This amount of powder will make 1,500,000 cartridges.) Of cannon-powder, the supply is nearly all at the forts, with a small quantity in reserve. Of fixed ammunition for field batteries, there is enough at Baton Rouge alone to supply ten batteries of six guns each. Of percussion-caps, there are here (750,000 belonging to this State) over 2,000,000, and there are a good many at the arsenals and bundled with the cartridges. It is understood that the State of Georgia has 150 tons of saltpeter, with a proportionate quantity of sulphur; this will make quite 200 tons of powder.
Major and Chief of Ordnance. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 292)
48. CIRCULAR.] WAR DEPT., ADJT. AND INSP. GEN. ‘S OFFICE, Montgomery,
May 8, 1861.
The demands upon the arsenals and depots charged with the supply of war material for the Army are so numerous and pressing that proper discretion in reference to the amount of their requisitions must be exercised by officers in command of troops. These requisitions must for the present be limited to the smallest quantities compatible with their wants.
By order of the Secretary of War:
Adjutant and Inspector General. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 302)
49. AN ORDINANCE appropriating the domain, public lands, and other property which belonged to the Government of the United States in this State on the 6th day of May,
A. D. 1861, and for other purposes. [May 11, 1861]
1. Be it ordained by the people of the State of Arkansas in convention assembled, That the domain, public lands, and other property which belonged to and vested in the Government of the United States, situate in this State, on the 6th day of May, A. D. 186l, be, and the same are hereby, appropriated to the State of Arkansas, as the domain, public lands, and property of said State, to be hereafter disposed of, applied, and appropriated as the other domain, public lands, and property of this State, hereby declaring that all the right, title, and claim which heretofore vested in the said Government of the United States of, in, and to said domain, public lands, and other property now vest in and belong to the State of Arkansas, subject to be disposed of as may be hereafter provided by this convention or the General Assembly of this State; saving, however, those who may have acquired any rights under the laws heretofore existing all such rights.
2. Be it further ordained, That the deputies or delegates who have heretofore been elected by this convention to the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America be, and they are hereby, instructed and commissioned, and for that purpose they are hereby clothed with full power and authority to cede, convey, or transfer to the Government of the Confederate States of America the following grounds, lands, and property, situate in the State of Arkansas, for the use and benefit of said Confederate States of America, that is to say: Twenty acres, including the buildings, of the grounds and lands attached and belonging to the fort known as Fort Smith, in Sebastian County, and all the houses, buildings, and appurtenances thereon situate; also the grounds and lands attached and belonging to the arsenal, situate in the city of Little Rock, and all the houses, buildings, and appurtenances thereon situate; and also the grounds and lands attached and belonging to the hospital in the city of Napoleon, in Desha County, and all the houses, buildings, and appurtenances thereon situate: Provided, however, That said fort, arsenal, and hospital shall be considered necessary or useful for national purposes: And provided, also, That said Government of the Confederate States of America shall receive and admit this State into the Government of the Confederate States upon the same terms that all the other States have been received into said Confederacy, and with all the powers, privileges, and immunities belonging and pertaining to the same and each of them: And provided, also, That the said fort, arsenal, and hospital shall be continued to be used for public purposes and national objects: And provided, also, That the said Government of the Confederate States of America shall forever and at all times receive into the said arsenal and safely keep any and all State arms which may be there deposited, free of cost and expense to this State, and shall also receive and store into the magazine attached to said arsenal any and all powder or munitions of war tendered for that purpose by this State, without cost or expense. . . .
4. Be it further ordained, That if the deputies or delegates aforesaid shall think it expedient or proper to cede to the Government of the Confederate States of America the grounds, lands, and property aforesaid, and the same are accepted by the said Confederate States, then and in that event the said Government of the Confederate States of America shall exercise the same jurisdiction over the said grounds, lands, and property so to be ceded, that the Government of the United States of America had exercised and held over the same under the acts of Congress of the United States and those of the General Assembly of this State.
Adopted and passed in and by the convention on the 11th day of May, A. D. 1861.
President of the Arkansas State Convention.
Attest. ELIAS C. BOUDINOT,
Secretary of the Convention. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, pp. 312-13)
50. HEADQUARTERS VIRGINIA FORCES, Richmond, Va., May 11, 1861.
Col. C. DIMMOCK, Ordnance Department, Virginia Forces:
COLONEL: Major-General Lee instructs me to say to you that he desires you to enlarge your laboratory for manufacturing ammunition, &c. The troops entering the State are unprovided with ammunition, and are unserviceable without it. We will therefore have to manufacture for them and for the Virginia troops. Three times as much ammunition as is now made will be required.
I am, &c.,
R. S. GARNETT,
Adjutant-General. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 314)
51. WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Montgomery, May 17, 1861.
Hon. T. C. HINDMAN, &c.:
Sir: In relation to the arming of the regiment tendered by you to this Department and conditionally accepted, it is important the arms should be supplied by the State of Arkansas, not only because it is important to have these troops in the field at the earliest practicable moment for local purposes associated with Arkansas, but because of the heavy demand made upon the Confederate Government for arms by the border States and our very greatly extended lines of operation in every direction. It is apparent the War Department is called upon by the highest public considerations, and in view of the probabilities of a prolonged war, to dispense the arms in its possession only when it becomes absolutely necessary in connection with the most weighty movements.
L. P. WALKER. (OR Ser 1, Vol 3, p. 578)
52a. MARYSVILLE, KANS., May 20, 1861.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of Confederate States of America:
Sir: I addressed you on the 16th instant a brief communication in reference to the propriety and importance of taking possession of the forts and property of the United States Government in the Northwest, and now avail myself of an opportunity of going more fully into detail on the subject. I refer to all that portion of country west of the Mississippi River to the summit of the Rocky Mountains and south of the Platte River, in Nebraska, and northern line of Missouri to the northern line of Arkansas and Texas, almost all of which is rich in agricultural and mineral resources.
The population of Colorado Territory is about 40,000 persons, of whom 30,000 are capable of bearing arms. They are now much displeased and dissatisfied with the course of the Federal Government in removing the U. S. troops from the Western frontier, whereby great dangers are apprehended from Indians and the serious interruption of their trade and commercial intercourse. One-third of the population sympathizes with your Government, independent of those who may be controlled by other influences, and one-fourth of them would take up arms in its behalf as soon as an opportunity is presented. There are some eight military posts within the district of country referred, which, in consequence of the withdrawal of U. S. troops, have not more than a skeleton company in each. A large number of the soldiers would immediately enlist in the services of the Confederate States, and the officers are daily resigning to join the Southern Army. These posts are all well supplied with a large amount of commissary stores and munitions of war. The Cherokee and other Indian tribes on the southern border of Kansas are intelligent and quite civilized races, and owning, as they do, considerable slave property themselves, their interests and feelings are wholly with the South.
Within the boundaries of this great country are the States of Missouri and Kansas. The former, being surrounded on three sides by free States, although identified in sympathy and interest with the Southern Confederacy, scarcely dare make a move toward secession in the present state of affairs. Kansas is controlled by a majority of poor, worthless, starving abolitionists, who receive their support from donations of provisions from the Northern States, which are transported through Missouri and delivered to them on the banks of the Missouri River. There is still in Kansas a strong pro-slavery element, kept in subjection to this dominant party, that will gladly unite with any movement made by the Confederate States to throw off the yoke, and will fly to arms at a moment’s warning. The question now presents itself whether all this valuable territory shall go with the North or the South. The answer depends upon the prompt action of your Government. Missouri cannot be secured to the South unless the country west of it is taken possession of and held by the Confederate States. With six regiments of cavalry from Arkansas and Texas and the forces that can be obtained from the Indian Territory, I can seize and hold Forts Laramie and Wise, and Fort Union, if necessary, and take possession of all military stores and munitions of war at the other forts in Kansas and Colorado, and will destroy what will be of no utility, establish headquarters near the Cheyenne Pass, and with the possession of Forts Laramie and Wise, cut off all communication between the Northern States and the Pacific coast; and at the same time, acting in conjunction with Missouri, can seize Forts Leavenworth and Riley, and expel from Kansas the horde of Northern vandals that now infests it, opposed to your Government, and declare Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado a part of the Confederate States of America. Also seize the daily overland express mail to California, and appropriate it to the transportation of mail and express matter to and from the Southern States only. A majority of the owners of the capital stock of this company entertain warm Southern views, and would willingly acquiesce therein.
Hoping these suggestions will meet with your approbation, I have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,
F. J. MARSHALL.
53b. I have carefully read the foregoing, and heartily indorse the suggestions therein politically and in a military point of view.
R. H. WEIGHTMAN,
Col., Comdg. Camp Holloway, Missouri State Guard.
(OR Ser 1, Vol 3, pp. 578-79)
54. LITTLE ROCK, ARK., May 20, 1861.
Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, Montgomery, Ala.:
Sir: I have the honor to make the following statement in reference to military matters in this State for your information:
Since my arrival here I have ascertained that although a large amount of arms and munitions of war was secured by the capture of the arsenal at this place, their is now but a small amount left. At the present time there are only 2,260 flint-lock muskets (new), 60 percussion muskets, and 160 Hall’s rifles. The ammunition for small-arms consists of 250,000 musket ball-cartridges, 40,000 Colt’s pistol cartridges, 2,000 Sharp’s carbine cartridges, and 520,000 percussion caps, also 86 barrels of musket and 30 barrels of rifle powder. All the other arms and munitions of war seized here have been scattered over the State in every direction, without any method or accountability, and it is impossible to tell what has become of them. Very few arms suitable for cavalry service were found in the arsenal, and the regiment of mounted men you have authorized me to take from the State will be very destitute of arms suitable for the service. I would therefore respectfully call your attention to the necessity of at once forwarding to Fort Smith a sufficient supply of rifles or carbines, pistols and sabers, to equip a regiment of cavalry. Of course the necessary ammunition would be required at the same time.
As the river is now in fine navigable order, I would suggest the propriety of at once sending to Fort Smith a sufficient supply of rations for six months for the use of my brigade, deducting the amount I may be able to get here, and of which I will inform you by telegraph as soon as the Convention determines to turn it over to me. The navigation of the river is so uncertain, that an opportunity of sending supplies may not again occur for months. Flour can be purchased in the country and supplied by my own quartermaster. I would also call your attention to the fact that I have neither officers of the quartermaster’s nor commissary department, and as it is absolutely necessary for a successful campaign here to secure officers familiar with these duties, I would respectfully urge upon you the necessity of sending them at once. The officer of the subsistence department you determine to send should go directly to New Orleans, purchase supplies for my command, and bring them with him.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding. (OR Ser 1, Vol 3, pp. 579-80)
55. WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Montgomery, May 25, 1861.
His Excellency C. F. JACKSON, Governor of Missouri, at Jefferson City.
SIR: In answer to your letter of the 5th of May [not found], it gives me very great pleasure to be enabled to say to your excellency that this department fully appreciates the sentiments of your heart, the embarrassments of your position, and the judgment displayed in view of all the obstacles opposing your policy. That the popular and momentarily suppressed feeling and sympathy of Missouri are with the cause of the Confederate States is not questioned by this Government, but at the same time we are forced to acknowledge the critical nature of her condition, environed as she is on three sides by the enemy. Four years ago I felt satisfied when the present issue came she would be thus circumstanced, and in the administration of this department, recognizing your situation, I have only regretted I have not, for the want of Confederate authority within your limits, been able to extend towards you that measure of relief called for by your necessities. I have, nevertheless, set forward movements which I flatter myself will before very long contribute largely to disrupt the fetters that now shackle the freedom of your own and the popular action. Your excellency may feel assured we have forces in the field and have made preparations for defense sufficient to retard, the advance across our lines of the most formidable power, at least until additional supplies of men and arms can be brought not only to the rescue, but to drive back the invaders of our soil, and even to carry the war into the enemy’s country. Our people to the last man have already definitely made up their minds to the final result of a desperate and bloody issue, and there resides with them and our cause a sustaining spirit which can never animate our enemies, and with which the history of the world demonstrates victory invariably reposes.
In this connection, it is to be deeply regretted that two prominent officers, late prisoners of war to our forces, and liberated in the most generous manner, are now to be found with arms in their hands—the one in Missouri and the other in Kentucky—seeking with the sword to requite our humanity: I mean General Harney and Major Anderson. Such conduct can only serve to exasperate our soldiers on the battlefield to spare this Government all occasion for the display of magnanimity by urging them to yield no quarter to prisoners.
If I do not write more fully and in detail, it is for the reasons expressed by your excellency in regard to the probabilities of interception.
But, with renewed expressions of high regard, personally and politically, I remain, your friend and servant,
L. P. WALKER. (OR Ser 1, Vol 3, p. 584)
56. WAR DEPARTMENT, ORDNANCE OFFICE, Richmond, September 26, 1861.
Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith, in obedience to request contained in your letter of the 22d, statements as follows, viz: (1) Statement of ammunition subject to the order of the Ordnance Department, with the places of deposit. (2) Statement of small-arms subject to order of Ordnance Department, and where deposited. (3) Statement of artillery subject to the order of Ordnance Department, and where deposited. (4) Statement of outstanding contracts for small-arms and artillery given by the Ordnance Department. (5) Statement of establishments for the supply of ammunition, small-arms, and artillery under the control of the Government.
All of which are respectfully submitted.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief of Ordnance.
56a. No. 1.—Statement of ammunition subject to the order of the Ordnance Department, with their places of deposit, on the 30th of June, 1861. (Of the 46 repositories and headquarters holding ammunition, only 21 submitted their returns. Therefore, the report submitted by LTC Gorgas represented probably less than half of the ammunition actually in the hands of Confederate troops and installations. The following list is a summary of the total amount of munitions reported:)
|Small-arms ammunition||1,252,615 Rounds|
|Artillery Ammunition||24,575 Rounds|
|Cannon Powder||133,803 Pounds|
|Musket Powder||15,175 Pounds|
|Rifle Powder||34,804 Pounds|
|Mixed Powder||81,825 Pounds|
|Unserviceable Powder||2,000 Pounds|
|Blasting Powder||1,050 Pounds||(OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 619)|
56b. No. 2.—Statement of small-arms subject to the order of the Ordnance Department, with their places of deposit, on the 30th of June, 1861. (43 repositories and headquarters are contained in this list, only 13 of which submitted returns: )
|Non-comm. Officer Swords||6|
|Horse Artillery Sabers||66|
|Musicians’ Swords||9||(OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 620)|
56c. No. 3.—Statement of artillery subject to the order of the Ordnance Department, and their places of deposit, on the 30th day of June, 1861. (Returns received from 19 of 46 repositories and headquarters: )
|42-Pounder Iron Guns||2|
|32-Pounder Iron Guns||101|
|24-Pounder Iron Guns||150|
|18-Pounder Iron Guns||5|
|12-Pounder Iron Guns||2|
|6-Pounder Iron Guns||17|
|8-inch Sea-coast Howitzers||4|
|7 ½-inch Naval Howitzers||2|
|24-Pounder Iron Howitzers||32|
|12-Pounder Iron Howitzers||2|
|32-Pounder Navy Carronades||13|
|Navy Shell Guns||2|
|10-inch Siege Mortars||6|
|8-inch Iron Howitzers||2||(OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 621)|
56d. No. 4.—Statement of outstanding contracts. ORDNANCE OFFICE, September 24, 1861.
|8-inch carriages and chassis||150|
|10-inch carriages and chassis||100|
|15-inch carriages and chassis||15|
|6-pounder gun carriages||135|
|12-pdr howitzer carriages & caissons||6|
|24-pounder siege carriages||30|
|3-inch rifled guns||131|
|12-pounder iron howitzers||81|
|24-pounder iron howitzers||40|
|24-pounder iron howitzer carriages||40|
Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief of Ordnance. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 622)
56e. No. 5.—List of establishments for the supply of ammunition, small-arms, and artillery under the control of the Government. ORDNANCE OFFICE, September 24, 1861.
1 C. S. Laboratory, Richmond – Ammunition – 50,000 to 100,000 rounds small-arms, 900 field artillery, per day.
2 C. S. Armory, Richmond – Small-arms – (From Sept. 15, 1861) 1,000 per month.
3 C. S. Armory, Fayetteville – Small-arms – (From Mar. 1, 1862) 500 per month.
4 Augusta Arsenal – Ammunition – 20,000 to 30,000 per day small-arms, and preparing to turn out field artillery.
5 Charleston Arsenal – Ammunition – 15,000 to 20,000 per day small-arms, and preparing to turn out field artillery.
6 Mount Vernon Arsenal – Ammunition – 10,000 to 15,000 per day small-arms, and preparing to turn out field artillery.
7 Baton Rouge Arsenal – Ammunition and artillery carriages – 30,000 to 40,000 per day small-arms, and preparing to turn out field artillery; also one field carriage per week.
8 Virginia Military Institute – Ammunition – 5,000 to 10,000 small-arms.
9 Norfolk – Ammunition – 5,000 to 10,000 small-arms.
There is also an establishment at Asheville, N. C., for the manufacture, alteration, and repair of small-arms, but no report as to its capacity has been received.
Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief of Ordnance. (OR Ser 4, Vol 1, p. 622)
Sources and Methodology
Background of the Arsenal
The St. Louis Arsenal in the Years Leading up to the Civil War
Events of Early 1861 Affect the St. Louis Arsenal
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