I had at one time samples of more than twenty patterns of infantry weapons alone.
Much the same state of things existed as to artillery, both seacoast and field guns.
As an illustration I may mention that when I joined Genl. R. E. Rodes
' brigade for field service, the battery of Capt.
) Thos. H. Carter
, which was attached to the brigade, had a scratch lot of guns consisting of two smooth-bore six-pounders, one twelve-pounder howitzer, these all of bronze, and one three-inch iron rifle.
As a natural consequence there was serious trouble at the arsenals and in the field, from confusion in regard to ammunition—trouble which was made worse by the gauges in use in the ordnance shops, which were not very accurate and often did not agree among themselves.
This fact primarily led to my becoming connected with the ordnance corps.
I was in the summer of 1862 serving most pleasantly as aide-de-camp on the staff of General Rodes
, whom I had known well before the war. Another friend of his was Colonel Briscoe Baldwin
, chief ordnance officer on the staff of General Lee
, and who had been for a while in charge of Richmond
visited our camp below Richmond
at the time of the battle of Seven Pines
, talked with me about the state of the ordnance service, and asked me to go with him to the office in Richmond
of Colonel Gorgas
, who had expressed a wish to see me. The result of several interviews with him was that I was, though with a good deal of reluctance, transferred to the ordnance corps with a commission as Captain
of Artillery, and ordered to at once endeavor to bring order out of the confusion that had been referred to. In August and September, I made a visit to all the principal ordnance establishments, conferred with the chief field ordnance officers, and drew up a report, with recommendations for rules to be observed, which was submitted to Col. Gorgas
, approved by him, and ordered to be printed and distributed.
Orders were sent to Europe
for a number of accurately tested steel guages.
Under orders from Col. Gorgas
I prepared the plans and preliminary drawings for the Central Ordnance Laboratory
which has been already mentioned.
My instructions were then to make my headquarters at Macon
, reporting directly to the Chief