Colonel James H. Burton and the Confederate Ordnance Department



Colonel James H. Burton and the Confederate Ordnance Department
Harper’s Ferry and
Confederate Armament
Matthew W. Norman, M.D.
Atlanta, Georgia
Was this the most valuable Confederate acquisition
from Harpers Ferry on 18 April 1861?
Or was this?
Stocking machine from Ames Manufacturing Co.
Confederate States Ordnance Bureau
Chief of Ordnance (Josiah
Superintendent of
Laboratories (JW
Superintendent of
Armories (JH Burton)
Superintendent of
Arsenals (RW
Chief of Ordnance, C.S.A.
Josiah Gorgas
(July 1, 1818 – May 15, 1883)
Frank E. Vandiver, ed.,
The Civil War Diary of
General Josiah Gorgas
(University of Alabama,
Frank E. Vandiver,
Ploughshares into
Swords: Josiah Gorgas
and Confederate
Ordnance (Austin, Texas,
Wiggins, Sarah Woolfolk,
ed., The Journals of
Josiah Gorgas 1857-1878
(Tuscaloosa: University
of Alabama Press, 1995)
Superintendent of Laboratories
John W. Mallet, PhD
(1832 – 1912)
Born in Dublin, Ireland
Obtained PhD in chemistry 1853
Immigrated to US in 1853
Married daughter of Alabama
Supreme Court Justice
Enlisted in Army 1861 as private
After war taught at Tulane, Univ
Texas, UVa
Richmond, Virginia
Virginia State Armory to C.S. Armory at Richmond
- some politics in transfer
Superintendent of Armory
- running Richmond only
Superintendent of Armories
- running all C.S. Armories
Offered to start revolver manufactory
- November 1861
Spiller & Burr
Draft of Fundamental Conditions
- Edward N. Spiller, John Jett, Joseph Reid, and David J. Burr (all Va gentlemen)
Edward N. Spiller (1825 – 1871) – lawyer/dry goods
- born in Va., living Baltimore in Apr 1861, moved Richmond in June 1861
- Secret Service/Spotswood, uncle was Va treasurer, “sharp Yankee character”
John Jett and Joseph Reid
- wealthy Rappahannock County businessmen/cousins of Spiller’s
David J. Burr (1821 – 1876) – lawyer/industrial entrepreneur
- Va Steamship & Packet Co., Richmond City Council, Va. House of Delegates
David J. Burr
Atlanta, Georgia
Burton charged with finding a suitable location for Armory
- Permanent Armory location
Met with businessmen and local politicians
- saw James Andrews hanging on June 7, 1862
Atlanta was not overly generous in their offer
- left for Macon
Whitney .36 revolver, Second Model, First Type
First Model, 1st type, #13, left side
First Model, 1st type, #13, right side
#1214 (top)
#882 (bottom)
#855 (top)
#29 (bottom)
Questions or comments
Feel free to email them to:
[email protected]

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