West Point in the Making of America

History

Graduates

Discover

Resources

Exhibition

Josiah Gorgas

Josiah Gorgas



Josiah Gorgas (18181883)
CLASS OF 1841

Gorgas began his career as an ordnance officer at Watervliet Arsenal near Troy, New York, before touring European arsenals in 1845–1846. During the Mexican War, he commanded the Veracruz ordnance depot. Routine duties over the next thirteen years took him to arsenals in Detroit, New York, and Pittsburgh and to Virginia’s Fort Monroe.

While stationed at Mount Vernon Arsenal near Mobile, Alabama, Gorgas met and, in 1853, married Amelia Gayle. Although a Pennsylvanian, he followed his Alabama wife into secession.

As chief of ordnance for the Confederacy, Gorgas built an extraordinary system of acquisition, manufacture, and distribution of arms and ammunition. Largely thanks to him, Confederate troops never lacked weapons, though often short of everything else. After the war, he joined the new University of the South in Tennessee, and later became president of the University of Alabama.


NEXT




Herman Haupt




Key Figures






Josiah Gorgas
Josiah Gorgas
1818–1883
Class of 1841



Herman Haupt
Herman Haupt
1817–1905
Class of 1835



Montgomery Cunningham Meigs
Montgomery Cunningham Meigs
1816–1892
Class of 1836



Alexander Brydie Dyer
Alexander Brydie Dyer
1815–1874
Class of 1837





Smithsonian National Museum of American History


E-mail Signup | Sponsors | Credits
West Point in History Introduction 1802–1860 1861–1870 1866–1914 1914–1918 Epilogue Introduction 1802–1860 1861–1870 1866–1914 1914–1918 Epilogue Choosing Sides Organizing for War Fighting the Civil War The Army in Reconstruction