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[367] Here the greater part of the ordnance and ordnance stores were prepared for the use of the Confederate armies.

The arsenal occupied a number of tobacco-factories at the foot of Seventh street, near the Tredegar Iron Works, between Cary street and James river. It included all the machine-shops for working wood and iron, organized into different departments, each under subordinate officers, arranged to manufacture ordnance stores for the use of the Confederate army.

Cannon were made at the Tredegar Iron Works, including siege and field guns, Napoleons, howitzers and banded cast-iron guns. Steel guns were not made. We had no facilities for making steel, and no time to experiment.

The steel guns used by the Confederates were highly valued, and with the exception of a few purchased abroad, were all captured from the Federals.

At the beginning of the war the machinery belonging to the armory at Harper's Ferry was removed to Richmond, and there established. This armory manufactured Enfield rifles, and the product was very small, not exceeding 500 per month.

With the exception of a few thousand rifles, the soldiers, at the beginning of the war, were armed with the old smooth-bore muskets, and with old Austrian and Belgian rifles imported. These they exchanged for Enfield rifles, as they were favored by the fortunes of war.

In the summer of 1862, after the Seven Days battles around Richmond, between General Lee and General McClellan, men were detailed to collect arms from the field, which were carried to the Richmond Arsenal, and then, as quickly as possible, repaired and reissued to the army. Subsequently, through the blockade runners, a large importation of excellent rifles was received and distributed.

When the men detailed for this purpose were collecting the thousands of Enfield rifles left by the Federals on the battle-fields around Richmond, I remember seeing a few steel breast-plates that had been worn by the Federal soldiers who were killed in battle. They were solid steel, in two parts, shaped to fit the chest, and were worn under the coat. These were brought as curiosities to the Arsenal, and had been pierced by bullets. I remember this as a fact of my own knowledge. Some years ago the charge that some of the Federal soldiers wore breast-plates was denied and decried as a gross slander, and in reply thereto I published in the Nation the statement here made. These, no doubt, represented a few sporadic cases, worn without the

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