the R. E. Lee. She had the capacity of four hundred and fifty bales, and was, during the latter part of her career, commanded also by a former navy officer, Captain R. H. Gayle. These vessels were long, low, and rather narrow, built for swiftness, and with their lights out, and with fuel that made little smoke, they contrived to slip in and out of Wilmington at pleasure, in spite of a cordon of Federal cruisers, eager for the spoils of a blockade-runner. Other vessels—the Eugenia, a beautiful ship, the Stag, and several others—were added, all devoted to carrying ordnance supplies, and finally general supplies.The success of the Chief of Ordnance in securing arms, munitions and war material, induced the Secretary of War to enlarge the shipment of cotton, by compelling private vessels to contribute in its carriage, and a separate Bureau was organized, called the Bureau of Foreign Supplies, and Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas L. Bayne was assigned as its Chief. General Gorgas having thus induced the executive officers of the Government to utilize cotton and tobacco in securing necessary supplies and material for the war, then pressed his views further, and urged that such property should not be destroyed by either army, and after conference with the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Treasury, it was suggested that a commission might be sent to headquarters of General Grant or to Washington to provide against the destruction of cotton or tobacco by the belligerent forces. Mr. Trenholm, Secretary of the Treasury, earnestly supported this proposition, and named Hon. W. W. Crump, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury; and Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas L. Bayne, Chief of the Bureau of Foreign Supplies, was indicated by the Secretary of War for this commission. Military movements then in progress caused delay, and finally the matter was dropped, and it is only referred to here as showing the broad and comprehensive views of General Gorgas. In the notes above referred to it is shown that when General Gorgas assumed his place as Chief of Ordnance, he found in all the arsenals within the Confederacy only fifteen thousand rifles and 120,000 inferior muskets, with some old flint muskets at Richmond, and Hall's rifles and carbines at Baton Rouge. There was no powder, except small quantities at Baton Rouge and at Mt. Vernon, relics of the Mexican war. There was very little artillery, and no cavalry arms or equipments. As was said by General Joseph E. Johnston, in speaking of General Gorgas, ‘He created the Ordnance Department out ’
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.