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Alexander Brydie Dyer

Alexander Brydie Dyer



Alexander Brydie Dyer (18151874)
CLASS OF 1837

After graduating from West Point, Dyer fashioned his military career in ordnance, serving primarily in arsenals throughout the country. In 1840 he and Elizabeth Breenshea married. One of their six children, Alexander Jr., followed his father to West Point (1873). The Mexican War (1846–1848) interrupted Dyer’s arsenal service. Fighting in Nueva Mexico, he was twice cited for gallantry.

In 1861 Dyer, a native Virginian, stayed with the Union. Commanding the Springfield Armory, he oversaw a fourfold increase in rifle production, to 1,000 per day.

Dyer declined an offer to become the army’s chief of ordnance in 1862 out of respect for the incumbent, James W. Ripley (class of 1814). When Ripley retired in 1864, Dyer accepted promotion. As adept at managing the War Department Ordnance Bureau as he was an armory commander, he held the position until his death.


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Fighting the Civil War




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Josiah Gorgas
1818–1883
Class of 1841



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





Smithsonian National Museum of American History


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