A Guide to the Virginia Ordnance Department Records, 1861-1864 Ordnance Department Records, of Virginia, 1861-1864 38943

A Guide to the Virginia Ordnance Department Records, 1861-1864

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Accession Number 38943


Library of Virginia

The Library of Virginia
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Richmond, Virginia 23219-8000
Phone: (804) 692-3888 (Archives Reference)
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Email: archdesk@lva.virginia.gov(Archives)
URL: http://www.lva.virginia.gov/

© 2002 By the Library of Virginia.

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Craig Moore

Library of Virginia
Accession number
Virginia Ordnance Department Records, 1861-1864
Physical Characteristics
1.73 cubic feet (3 boxes).
Physical Location
State Records Collection, Dept. of Military Affairs (Record Group 46).

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Virginia Ordnance Department, Records, 1861-1865. Accession 38943, State Records Collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

No acquisition information available.

Historical Information

The Ordnance Department was created by an act of the General Assembly on January 25, 1861. The department was to consist of a colonel of ordnance appointed by the governor and no more than six subordinate officers. Governor Letcher appointed Col. Charles Dimmock, former Commandant of the Public Guard and Superintendent of the Armory, as Colonel of Ordnance. On April 27, 1861, R.S. Garnett, Adjutant-General of the Virginia Forces, submitted General Order No. 3 which charged Dimmock with the duties of assembling and preparing ordnance for Virginia troops in field service. An ordinance was passed on May 1, 1861, placing the department under the control of the major general commanding the military and naval forces of Virginia. After the seizure of the United States Arsenal at Harper's Ferry by Virginia militia under Colonel Turner Ashby on April 18, 1861, all of the weapons, machinery, and stock were confiscated and transported to the Richmond Armory shortly thereafter. The armory was then leased to the Confederate government. The Ordnance Dept. took charge of repairing the armory and manufacturing arms for the war effort. On 15 May 1862, the General Assembly authorized the governor to commission John B. Floyd as a major general in the Virginia State Line. Two and a half million dollars was appropriated for Floyd's ten-thousand-man force. The Ordnance Dept. played an active role in arming Floyd's forces. Floyd's Army was later transferred to Confederate service on 28 February 1863. J.S. Shriver replaced Charles Dimmock as Colonel of Ordnance in October 1863 upon his death.

Scope and Content Information

These records relate to expenses incurred by the Ordnance Department between 1861 and 1864. Contains abstracts, vouchers, payrolls, correspondence, inspection certificates, and a report, all of which were submitted to the Auditing Board by Col. Charles Dimmock, Colonel of Ordnance, and later by Col. J.S. Shriver. The majority of this collection consists of abstracts and vouchers. The abstract provides a summary of all the vouchers submitted during a specific time. The vouchers acknowledge receipt of payment and were often numbered. The number on the abstract corresponds with the number of the voucher. Whenever an abstract exists for the vouchers, those vouchers are arranged in order by voucher number. There is a group of vouchers from 1861 and another from 1862, however, that were not abstracted. These vouchers are simply arranged in chronological order. The vouchers document a wide variety of expenses, but are mostly for weapons, ammunition, pay, transportation, and other sundry items. There is a large group of vouchers from Winchester for hauling the machinery at Harper's Ferry. There are also separate vouchers for Floyd's Army between May and December 1862.

Note that there are a few gaps in the records, most notably from January-February 1862, July & September-December 1863, and most of 1864. Some of these records can be found in the Records of the Auditing Board, 1861-1864. The payrolls relate to work done at the Richmond Armory reconstructing buildings, manufacturing arms, cleaning and repairing arms, fixing ammunition, etc. These payrolls provide the names of the workmen, how employed, length of employment, pay per day, total pay, and signatures. There are a few pieces of correspondence in the collection from Col. Dimmock to George W. Munford, President of the Auditing Board, and the Auditor of Public Accounts, and from Edward H. Fitzhugh, Examining Clerk, to the Auditing Board. Lastly, there is a report of the operations of the Ordnance Department submitted by Col. Shriver in April 1864.

Contents List

Virginia Ordnance Department Records, 1861-1864
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Oversized, 1861-1864
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