Today in History:

39 Series III Volume I- Serial 122 - Union Letters, Orders, Reports



ORDNANCE OFFICE, Washington, D. C., January 15, 1861.

Honorable JOSEPH HOLT,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the reference of a letter from the Honorable B. Stanton, chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs of the House of Representative,s asking for the statement of the distribution of arms from the armories to the arsenals and other places of deposit, for safe-keeping, from January 1, 1860, to January 1, 1861, &c., and, in compliance with your directions, have to report that on December 30, 1859, an order was received form the War Department directing the transfer of 115,000 arms form the Springfield Armory and the Watertown nad Watervliet Arsenals to different arsenals at the South.

Orders were given, in obedience to these instruction, on January 30, 1860, nad the arms were removed during the past spring form and to the places as follows, viz.:

From Springfield Armory, 65,000 percussion muskets, caliber of 69, and 40,000 muskets, altered from flint to percussion, caliber of 69. From Watertown Arsenal, 6,000 percussion rifles, caliber of 54. Of which there were sent to Charleston Arsenal, 9,280 percussion muskets, 5,720 altered muskets, and 2,000 rifles; North Carolina Arsenal, 15,480 percussion muskets, 9,520 altered muskets, and 2,000 rifles.

The arms thus transferred, which were at the Charleston Arsenal, the Mount Vernon Arsenal, and the Baton Rouge Arsenal, have been seized by the authorities of the several States of South Carolina, Alabama, and Louisiana, and are no longer in possession of the Ordnance Department. Those stored at Augusta Arsenal and at North Carolina are still in charge of officers of this department.

In addition to the foregoing there have been transfers of arms from the armories ot different arsenals, but only in such quantities as the exigencies of the service demand for immediate issues to the Army nd to the States, under the act of April 23, 1808, and which I infer are not intended to be embraced in the call of the Honorable Mr. Stanton, whose letter is herewith returned.

Very respectfully, &c.,


Colonel of Ordnance.

ORDNANCE OFFICE, Washington, January 15, 1861.

Honorable JOSEPH HOLT,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the reference to this office of a letter form the Honorable D. Clopton, asking for information in relation to certain arms issued to the State of Alabama last August, but which have not yet reached their destination, and on this subject have respectfully to report that, as stated by Mr. Clopton, the stores were issued form the Allegheny Arsenal in August last, addressed to the Governor of Alabama, at Montgomery, and it was supposed they had been duly