This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 As a general rule the facilities for manufacturing were meagre and crude, giving little prospect for an early serviceable product Early in the spring of 1862 I was ordered to report at Holly Springs, Miss., and take charge of a factory just purchased by the Confederacy, and designed for the manufacture of small arms. It was not many months before the defeat of the Confederate army under General Albert Sydney Johnston, at Shiloh, Tenn., caused a hurried removal of all the machinery to Meridan, Miss. Having reported to the chief of ordnance at Richmond, Va., I was assigned to duty connected with the Ordinance Department. The Confederate Congress had authorized the appointment of fifty new ordnance officers, and the applications to the War Department became so numerous and persistent for these appointments that the Secretary of War, Colonel Randolph, ordered that all applicants should submit to an examination, and that appointments would be made in order of merit, as reported by the Board of Examiners. Thus, what we are now familiar with as civil-service examinations, were introduced by the Confederate War Department in 1862, in the appointment of ordnance officers. I was made Lieutenant-Colonel of Ordnance, and as President of the Board, with two other officers, constituted the Board of Examiners. By direction of General J. Gorgas, the Chief of Ordnance, I prepared a Field Ordnance Manual by abridging the old United States Manual and adapting it to our service when necessary. This was published and distributed in the army. The examination embraced the Field Ordnance Manual, as contained in this abridged edition, the elements of algebra, chemistry and physics, with some knowledge of trigonometry. The first examinations were held in Richmond. Of course, the fact of the examinations greatly diminished the number of applicants. Of those recommended by the Board, so many were from Virginia that the President declined to appoint them until an equal opportunity was given to the young men of the different armies of the Confederacy in other States. Hence, I was directed to report to and conduct examinations in the armies of Generals Lee and Jackson in Virginia, General Bragg in Tennessee, and General Pemberton in Mississippi. Under other officers, examinations were conducted in Alabama and Florida. The result of this sifting process was that the army was supplied with capable and efficient ordnance officers. Early in 1863 I was appointed commandant of the Richmond Arsenal.
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.