In the arsenals captured from the Federals
, there were about one hundred and twenty thousand muskets of old types, and twelve thousand to fifteen thousand rifles.
In addition to these, the States had a few muskets, bringing the total available supply of small arms for infantry up to about one hundred and fifty thousand.
With this handicap, the States entered the greatest war in American history.
President Jefferson Davis
said that “it soon became evident to all that the South
had gone to war without counting the cost.”
At first, all the ordnance and ordnance supplies of the United States
in the Southern
arsenals and armories were claimed by the States in which they were found.
This caused no little delay in the acquisition of necessary ordnance stores by the Confederate Government, due to the necessity for negotiating for their transfer.
The first steps toward provision for ordnance needs were taken while the Government
was still at Montgomery, Alabama
An Ordnance Department was organized.
Colonel Josiah Gorgas
, a graduate of the United States Military Academy in the class of 1841, was appointed chief of ordnance about the end of February, 1861.
The department immediately sent out purchasing-officers.
Of these, Commander Raphael Semmes
(afterward Admiral Semmes
) was sent to New York, where, for a few weeks, he was able to buy ordnance stores in considerable quantity and ship them to the South
; and Colonel Caleb Huse
was soon afterward sent to London
to act as general purchasing-agent in England
and on the European
He remained on this duty throughout the war, and did invaluable service to the Confederate
The seat of the Confederate Government having been moved to Richmond
, Colonel Gorgas
there proceeded to organize the center of activity of the Ordnance Department.
There were four main sources of supply: arms on hand at the beginning of the war, those captured from the United States
, those manufactured in the Confederacy
, and those imported