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Collection Number: 00279-z

Collection Title: Josiah Gorgas Papers, 1857-1878.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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Size 3 items
Abstract Josiah Gorgas was a United States and later Confederate ordnance officer. The collection contains diaries, 1857-1864 and 1864-1878, of Josiah Gorgas, describing his life as a United States army ordnance officer stationed at Augusta, Me., Charleston, S.C., and Frankford Arsenal, Pa.; as Confederate Chief of Ordnance in Richmond, Va.; and after the war as a private citizen. The diaries describe home and family life, weather and antebellum social life in New England, the growing sectional political tensions, and, after joining the Confederate cause, economic, political, and social conditions in Richmond, Va., where he spent most of the war years. After the war, Gorgas managed the Brierfield Iron Works in Alabama and then was professor of engineering and president of the University of the South at Sewanee, Tenn., 1867-1877. Also included is a letter, 1863, from Colonel Hugh K. Aiken, C.S.A., concerning the sale of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad and the exchange of Confederate prisoners of war.
Creator Gorgas, Josiah, 1818-1883.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Josiah Gorgas Papers #279-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received typescript copy of the journal from Miss Jocker of the Institute for Research in Social Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in November 1945, and lent for filming by Mrs. W. D. Wrightson of Chevy Chase, Md., in December 1950.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Josiah Gorgas was born in Pennsylvania in 1818 and was graduated from West Point in 1841. He worked for the United States Army in the ordnance department from 1841 to 1861 and was stationed at Augusta, Me., from January 1857 until June 1858. He was transferred that June to Charleston Arsenal where he remained until July 1860, when he was moved to Frankford Arsenal near Philadelphia.

In 1861, Gorgas was stationed in Richmond, Va., as Chief of Confederate Ordnance. He was made brigadier-general in 1864. After the war, Gorgas managed the Brierfield Iron Works in Alabama until 1867. He worked at the University of the South at Sewanee, Tenn., from 1869 to 1877 as professor of engineering and vice-chancellor. He was president of the University of Alabama, 1877-1878. In 1878, he resigned due to poor health and moved to Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he died that year.

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Letter to Gorgas from Col. Aiken about the sale of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad and exchange of Confederate prisoners of war; journal with many interesting details of the last period of the Civil War, Gorgas's travels in search of employment, the disrupted conditions for both whites and African-Americans, political and social situations, with mention of many leaders in the Confederacy, and other aspects of Gorgas's life after the war; and microfilmed journal of Gorgas's life before the war in New England, life in Richmond during the war, and the progress of the war with summaries of major events.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Suzanne Ruffing, July 1996

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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