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Civil War Sword of General Josiah Gorgas
Civil War Sword of General Josiah Gorgas
::2013/12/08::
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Keith Gorgas & Celia Evans:Solo/Duet @ the Jamboree
Keith Gorgas & Celia Evans:Solo/Duet @ the Jamboree
::2011/04/15::
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Keith Gorgas A Man Needs A Fish
Keith Gorgas A Man Needs A Fish
::2013/07/06::
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UA - dancing in gorgas library
UA - dancing in gorgas library
::2012/02/24::
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Dr. Michael Gorgas-Success Stories
Dr. Michael Gorgas-Success Stories
::2010/01/20::
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Dr.  William Gorgas
Dr. William Gorgas
::2009/01/04::
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great american dream Keith Gorgas
great american dream Keith Gorgas
::2012/03/11::
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tHE STORY OF MAINE. Josiah. Pd 7
tHE STORY OF MAINE. Josiah. Pd 7
::2014/01/30::
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Josiah
Josiah's Story promo 2
::2014/02/03::
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josiah and his sword
josiah and his sword
::2009/03/29::
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Quick APUSH Review: Leading to the Civil War
Quick APUSH Review: Leading to the Civil War
::2011/12/14::
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Tony Graham - I
Tony Graham - I'm Gone
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Nathan Mayfield Almost a hero cover
Nathan Mayfield Almost a hero cover
::2013/09/24::
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My great great great grandfathers civil war sword.
My great great great grandfathers civil war sword.
::2012/04/27::
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Lawson G. Beard, Confederate Soldier 6th Virginia Cavalry
Lawson G. Beard, Confederate Soldier 6th Virginia Cavalry
::2012/08/12::
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Hugh Washington Mills Confederate Soldier Honored 94 years later
Hugh Washington Mills Confederate Soldier Honored 94 years later
::2013/02/12::
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"Confederate soldier" at the La Quinta Museum
"Confederate soldier" at the La Quinta Museum
::2011/09/22::
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A Celtic dream
A Celtic dream
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Tang Soo Do Region 9 Valentin Karate Demo Team 2014
Tang Soo Do Region 9 Valentin Karate Demo Team 2014
::2014/03/08::
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Confederate Soldier John Mayfield "Passing of the Canteen"
Confederate Soldier John Mayfield "Passing of the Canteen"
::2012/05/12::
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18. "War So Terrible": Why the Union Won and the Confederacy Lost at Home and Abroad
18. "War So Terrible": Why the Union Won and the Confederacy Lost at Home and Abroad
::2008/11/21::
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In Honor of Black History Month...(a package)
In Honor of Black History Month...(a package)
::2014/02/25::
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Confederate Sword (Very Rare)
Confederate Sword (Very Rare)
::2014/04/26::
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Civil War Antiques, NCO Civil War Sword from our antiques mall at Gannon
Civil War Antiques, NCO Civil War Sword from our antiques mall at Gannon's Antiques
::2013/05/25::
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Civil War Antiques, 1860 Field Officer
Civil War Antiques, 1860 Field Officer's sword from our antiques mall at Gannon's Antiques
::2013/05/25::
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GENERAL US GRANT PRESENTATION SWORD, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION REPLICA
GENERAL US GRANT PRESENTATION SWORD, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION REPLICA
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Old Civil War Sword
Old Civil War Sword
::2011/07/21::
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Josiah Gorgas
Josiah Gorgas.jpg
Born July 1, 1818
Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
Died May 15, 1883
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Occupation University president

Josiah Gorgas (July 1, 1818 – May 15, 1883) was one of the few Northern-born Confederate generals and was later president of the University of Alabama.[1]

As chief of ordnance during the American Civil War, Gorgas managed to keep the Confederate armies well supplied with weapons and ammunition, despite the Union blockade and even though the South had hardly any munitions industry before the war began. In this effort he also worked closely with the Fraser, Trenholm shipping company that brought in shipments of ordnance by means of blockade runners. He kept diaries during the Civil War which are now a popular subject of study for historians.[2]

Early life[edit]

Josiah Gorgas was born in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. He was graduated from West Point in 1841 and was assigned to the Ordnance Department. He served in the Mexican-American War and was promoted to captain in 1855. In 1853, he married Amelia Gayle, daughter of former Alabama governor John Gayle.

Gorgas served in arsenals in different parts of the country before the Civil War broke out. Early in his career, Gorgas served at Watervliet Arsenal near Troy, New York, and at the Detroit Arsenal. Following the Mexican-American War, Gorgas served in Pennsylvania and in November 1851 was transferred to Fort Monroe in Virginia. There he began his association with the Tredegar Iron Company, which would become an important Southern foundry once the Civil War began. Gorgas went on to serve at the Mount Vernon Arsenal north of Mobile, Alabama beginning in 1853. He was commanding the Frankford Arsenal when he resigned from the United States Army on March 21, 1861 (effective April 3).[2]

Civil War[edit]

Having made the decision to secede, apparently motivated as much because of professional conflicts as by political principle, he moved to Richmond and became Chief of Ordnance for the Confederacy with the rank of Major.[2] Having served in nearly every arsenal in the nation he was the perfect choice for the position.[3] In this capacity, he worked to create an armaments industry almost from scratch. The South had no foundry except the Tredegar Iron Works. There were no rifle works except small arsenals in Richmond, and Fayetteville, North Carolina, plus the captured machines from the Union armory in Harpers Ferry.

In the procurement of arms Gorgas also corresponded with Charles Prioleau who headed Trenholm's Liverpool office, arranging for the shipping of arms and other supplies to the Confederacy. Most of the arms sent to the Confederacy departed from Liverpool. During the summer of 1861 Gorgas stockpiled supplies and prepared his first load of cargo while Trenholm company procured a suitable ship for the voyage. A 1,200 ton iron-hulled steamer, the Bermuda, was chosen to make the voyage.[3]

Gorgas established armories and foundries, found alternative sources for saltpeter, and created a huge gunpowder mill at the Augusta Arsenal. Thanks to his efforts, the Southern armies never lacked weapons, though they were short on almost everything else. On November 10, 1864, Gorgas was promoted to brigadier general.[2]

Postbellum[edit]

After the war, Gorgas purchased an interest in the Brierfield Furnace in Bibb County, near Ashby in Alabama, which had helped supply the in Confederate Naval Ordnance Works in Selma. The other directors appointed him to manage the iron works and he moved his family to the furnace site. Due to high operating and management costs he was forced to lease the iron works after just a couple of years in operation.[4][2]

In 1870 Gorgas accepted a position at the newly established University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. In 1878, he was elected president of the University of Alabama and moved into an 1829 mansion on campus. When he was forced to resign due to ill health, the trustees gave him the house for his retirement. The building was dedicated as a memorial to the family in 1944, and is now known as Gorgas House.

Gorgas died at the age of 65 in Tuscaloosa in 1883. His widow was installed as the university's librarian. The main university library is named the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library. Their oldest son, William Crawford Gorgas (born 1854) served as Surgeon General of the U.S. Army and is credited with implementing preventative measures against malaria that allowed for the completion of the Panama Canal.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vandiver, Frank E. (1952) Ploughshares into Swords: Josiah Gorgas and Confederate Ordnance. Austin, Texas
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Josiah Gorgas (1818-1883)". DeCredico, M. A.
    Encyclopedia Virginia and Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
     
  3. ^ a b Konstam, Bryan, 2004 p.8
  4. ^ Kennedy, Victoria (August 23, 2010) "Team digs up 1850s historic Gorgas family home site." Birmingham News

Bibliography[edit]

  • Gorgas, Josiah (1995). Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins, ed. The Journals of Josiah Gorgas, 1857-1878.
    University of Alabama Press. p. 305. ISBN 0-8071-0007-2.
      Url
  • Konstam, Angus; Bryan, Tony (2004). Confederate Blockade Runner 1861-65.
    Osprey Publishing, Wisconsin. p. 48.
      Url
  • Gorgas, Josiah (1995). Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins, ed. The Journals of Josiah Gorgas, 1857-1878.
    University of Alabama Press. p. 305. ISBN 0-8071-0007-2.
      Url
  • Vandiver, Frank E., ed., The Civil War Diary of General Josiah Gorgas (University of Alabama, 1947)
  • McPherson, James M. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (1988)

External links[edit]

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