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[83] advances of money made from time to time as the work progressed. After a time Mr. McRae was called on by President Davis to go abroad in connection with Confederate finances. He made it a condition that he should be relieved of his works and contract at Selma without pecuniary loss to himself. The works were thereupon assumed by the War and Navy Departments jointly, and placed at first under the charge of Colonel Rains as general superintendent, while an officer of less rank took immediate charge. Subsequently it was agreed by the War Department that the Navy should take sole charge and use the works for its own purposes. It was here that Commander Brooke made many of his formidable banded and rifled guns.

The foundry and rolling-mills then grew into large proportions, supplied by the iron and coal of that region. Had the Confederacy survived, Selma bid fair to become the Pittsburgh of the South. The iron obtained from the brown haematite at the furnaces in Bibb county (Brierfield), and from the Shelby Works, was admirable, the former being of unusual strength.

Mount Vernon Arsenal was still continued, after being in a great measure dismantled, and was utilized to get lumber and timber for use elsewhere, and to gather and prepare moss for making saddle-blankets.

At Montgomery shops were kept up for the repair of small arms, and for the manufacture of articles of leather, of which some supplies were obtained in that region.

There were many other small establishments and depots, some of them connected immediately with the army, as at Dublin, Southwest Va.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Jackson, Miss. Some shops at Lynchburg, Va., were moved to Danville, near the south line of Virginia, and it grew into a place of some value for repairs, &c.

The Ordnance shops at Nashville had been hurriedly transferred to Atlanta, Ga., on the fall of Fort Donelson; and when Atlanta was seriously threatened by the operations of Sherman the Arsenal there, which had become very important, was moved to Columbus, Ga., where there was the nucleus of an Ordnance establishment. Colonel M. H. Wright soon made this nearly as valuable as his arsenal at Atlanta had been.


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