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Report of General J. Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance.

Bureau of Ordnance, Richmond, February 9th, 1865.
Hon. J. C. Breckinridge, Secretary of War:
Sir — In reply to your circular of 7th February (received yesterday) I have the honor to enclose copies of Annual report, marked No. 1, Special report of December 31, 1864, No. 2, and Report of operatives, Whites and slaves, needed, No. 3.

No. 2 contains all the information as to the “ability” and “means and resources” of the Bureau.

As to “impediments,” I know of none which I cannot overcome, except the persistent and continuous interference with our workmen on account of military operations. If this source of disorganization and weakness be not finally disposed of, there is no possibility of sustaining the operations of the Bureau.

The Special report of December 31st, No. 2, shows that 800 men must be added to our force of mechanics at the armories; and Report No. 3 shows that about 3,691 men liable to military duty, and about 2,245 slaves, are required for the whole operations of the Bureau. These are minimum figures. If these men and slaves can be permanently attached to this Bureau, and an adequate force be attached in the same manner to the Nitre and Mining Bureau, I will answer for the supply of ordnance and ordnance stores to the army. It will, however, be necessary that the Commissary and Quartermaster Departments co-operate in so far as the feeding and clothing of this force is concerned. This is rendered necessary because these departments enjoy almost a monopoly of the resources for food and clothing in the country.

There is wanted, therefore, for home production--

1st. A force of workmen adequate to the production of a minimum supply of ordnance and ordnance stores for the army. This force is shown in paper No. 3.

2d. That this force should be permanently attached to the Bureau, and in no way liable to be interfered with by any one.

3d. That a minimum supply of food and clothing should be furnished by the Subsistence and Quartermaster Departments.

The “impediments” to the importation of such supplies as must still come from abroad, must be overcome, as they arise, by individual energy and resource.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,


J. Gorgas, Brigadier-General, Chief of Ordnance.

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