Montgomery was a major center of manufacturing activity for the Western Confederacy. Large governmental facilities were located here including an Ordnance Arsenal, Quartermaster Depot, a Medical Depot and pharmaceutical laboratory, a Nitre and Mining District Headquarters and a Naval Storehouse. In addition, the ironclad steamer THE NASHVILLE was built at its docks along the Alabama River.
Montgomery was established in 1861 first as an Ordnance Station then arsenal and quickly grew to be a major source of leather equipment for the western armies. Unfortunately, little is known about the arsenal’s detailed activities or even the exact locations of its shops. Apparently, all governmental facilities and its records were destroyed or otherwise lost after the city was surrendered to Federal Gen. James Wilson on April 12th, 1865.
Montgomery’s war time leather equipment production was apparently significant. Many tens of thousands of infantry accoutrements, saddles and other horse equipment were manufactured here much of it apparently under contract. At least some under contract with two prominent local commercial contractors to the arsenal, “Joseph Gue & Co.” and “Charles P. May”.