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[113] informed of the supplies in the magazine of every gun, and in the cartridge-box of every soldier in the whole Confederacy, but which shall trace every ounce of saltpetre in all of its various shapes, and hold to a rigid accountability every man who handles it from the moment that it is washed from the nitre-bed until its use upon the battle-field. With indefatigable energy General Gorgas formed and put in motion this whole machinery, selecting his important subordinates with such excellent judgment that the efficiency of the ordnance service was not only always equal to the demand upon it, but, in spite of continually increasing demands and decreasing resources, (from the gradual loss of blockade-running facilities and of valuable territory,) and in spite of serious interferences with the skilled labor of the arsenals and workshops by continued conscriptions, its efficiency continually increased, and all of its functions were faithfully performed as long as there was an army to need them. It is true that the Confederate armies were never in condition to use ammunition as lavishly as the enemy frequently did, but the supply never failed to be equal to the actual emergency, and no disaster was ever to be attributed to its scantiness. Wherever insufficiency was apprehended and economy imposed, in fact the scarcity arose far more from the lack of transportation to carry it with the army than from inability of the arsenals to furnish it.

E. P. Alexander.

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J. Gorgas (2)
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