by a surgeon, for making whisky and medicine for the army.
At that place in May, 1862, a partnership was formed, consisting of Geo. Yarbrough
, J. S. Short
and W. S. N. Briscoe
, the latter two of whom were gunsmiths, for the establishment of an armory.
They purchased one hundred acres of land one mile south of Tyler
, built a large brick house and purchased all the necessary machinery and materials for making 5,000 guns, under a contract with the military board at Austin
, at $30 each.
After having had much difficulty in securing proper workmen, they succeeded in making 1,000 rifles by September, 1863. Mr. Geo. Yarbrough
, previously a leading merchant of Tyler
, furnished for this enterprise $80,000. When the Confederates
were forced to abandon Little Rock, Ark.
, Lieutenant-Colonel Hill
, ordnance officer there with an armory under his control, moved to Tyler
with his machinery and working force of sixty men, procured the purchase of the Tyler armory
property at $100,000, and continued the manufacture of arms and fixed ammunition, employing in all 200 men and boys.
This private enterprise, the only one of such proportions in Texas
to aid the Confederate
cause, deserves to be recorded in history to the credit of those gentlemen for their devoted patriotism.
Maj. J. C. Kirby
, who was sent to Tyler
in 1862 as post quartermaster by General Hebert
, established shops near that place for making harness and blacksmithing, and collected leather from small tanyards, and wool hats
made in the adjoining counties.
He also purchased horses, mules and wagons, and wagon-sheets and sacks made in the vicinity, and was in the act of establishing a large tannery at the surrender.
At the same time was sent to Tyler
, to act as post commissary, Captain Sidnor
, and afterward Captain Sinclair
, who purchased and sent to the troops in the field large amounts of provisions.
, also, was established a prison camp, in which first and last there were 6,000 Federal prisoners confined.