In our then condition (1861) his was the most important, scientific and administrative position in the Government. We were destitute of arms and munitions, and had not a single manufactory of either within the limits of our country. It is sufficient to say that his patient industry, high scientific attainments and great administrative capacity soon placed us above want. General Gorgas remained to the end of the war at the head of his Department, and grew in favor as time and means enabled him to develop the dormant resources of the country. He is a man of fine scientific and good general attainments, of close application, great system and method, and high administrative ability. His manners and address are most pleasing, being mild, polished and conciliating. His moral character is above reproach. Both he and his wife are communicants of the church.General Lee had written in the same strain, at the same time and occasion. The services and achievements of General Gorgas did not attract such attention as if he had been in the field, but no man acted a more important part, or contributed more to success. Mr. Davis, in a letter to him, says, there is ‘much to learn of the struggles which were made to maintain our cause by those who gathered no laurels in the field, and without whose labors there would have been no laurels to gather.’ General Gorgas was as much distinguished as a teacher as he had been as an officer. As Vice-Chancellor of the University of the South, he established that Institution on a firm basis, and as President of the University of Alabama he won that commendation which is exhibited in the action of the trustees, and the tributes paid to him as a soldier and civilian by the whole South. We have not undertaken to portray the life of General Gorgas as he was seen and known by his intimate friends and by his family. He was ever gentle in his manners, and in his speech affectionate with his family and his friends. He faithfully discharged his whole duty in every relation in life—as a soldier, a scholar, wise administrator, kind ruler, affectionate husband, devoted father, and faithful Christian. General Gorgas left his wife, who is matron and librarian of the University of Alabama, one son, Dr. W. C. Gorgas, an assistant surgeon in the army, another who has recently graduated at the University of Alabama, and four daughters.
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