I believe it may be safely claimed that General Gorgas created and managed the most efficient Bureau of the Confederate War Department; that Bureau which was based upon the most scanty resources at the outset, which was called upon to respond to the most special, the most varied and the most urgent demands, and which was developed to the highest degree of efficiency, in spite of the serious difficulties arising from the ever shifting conditions imposed by the events of the war. At this distance of time it is not but now and then that one can fairly carry himself back, as in a dream, to a practical sense of what that ordnance work was—the uncertain chances of supplies brought in from abroad through the blockade—the eager picking up of odds and ends of material from domestic sources to eke out these supplies; leaden water pipes and window weights to make bullets of, old sugar boiling kettles, torn up and re-rolled into thinner copper for percussion caps, the revamping of worn out tools and machines and alteration of them, to answer purposes for which they were never
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