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[85] Georgia, as their point of manufacture, and under a contract with me, and assisted with funds under that contract, proceeded to reorganize and extend their ‘plant.’ They were reasonably successful.

The want of cavalry arms caused me to make a contract with parties in Richmond to make the Sharp's carbine—at that time the best cavalry arm we had. A set of machinery capable of turning out one hundred arms a day was driven to completion in less than a year, nearly all the machinery being built up ‘from the stumps.’ The arms were never perfect, chiefly for want of nice workmanship about the ‘cut-off’ It was not gas-tight. We soon bought out the establishment, and converted it into a manufactory of rifle-carbines, calibre 58, as the best arm our skill would enable us to supply to the cavalry.

Recognizing the necessity of some great central establishment for the production of small arms, plans of buildings and estimates of machinery were made for such an one, to be built at Macon, Georgia—a point of easy access and near to a fertile corn region, out of the way of the enemy. Colonel Burton went to England and easily negotiated for the machinery, which was to have been of sufficient capacity to turn out about 10,000 arms per month. Buildings were immediately obtained for some machinery for pistols, which was transferred there; and Colonel Burton had made good progress in erecting ample buildings for the new machinery, part of which had arrived at Bermuda and Nassau when the Confederacy fell. But about six months before the close of the war, finding that the blockade had become so stringent that the introduction of machinery would be very difficult, and reflecting, too, that as long as the war continued this extended machinery would be of but little use to us for want of work men, I got the authority of the Secretary of War to set it up at some point abroad and bring in the arms, which would be less difficult than to bring in the machinery and train the workmen. Colonel Burton was abroad on this duty when the war closed. Had the war been prolonged, we should in twelve months have been making our own arms in a foreign land, under the sanction of a private name. After the war it was proposed to transfer the entire ‘plant’ to the buildings which were in course of construction for it at Macon. Peace would have then found us in possession of a great armory, which I much desired.

One of the earliest difficulties forced upon us in the manufacture of arms was to find an iron fit for the barrels. The ‘skelps’ found at Harper's Ferry served for awhile, and when these were exhausted Colonel Burton selected an iron produced at a forge in Patrick

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