Armories--Mississippi. Military Department. State Armory

Following their declaration of secession from the Union in 1861, Mississippi authorities tried to improve the state’s military capabilities. One major concern involved the consolidation and production of weapons for Mississippi and Confederate troops. The owner of the Jones, McElwain, Company Iron Foundry at Holly Springs turned the facility into an armory for the Confederate army with plans to produce more than 35,000 rifles. However, the facility only repaired existing weapons and produced no new firearms before Union troops invaded northern Mississippi and captured the building in November 1862. Confederate soldiers under Earl Van Dorn subsequently recaptured the site, but burned the facility to prevent its future use by Union forces. Confederate officials also established an arsenal at Columbus, Mississippi, but these supplies were separate from state-dedicated resources.

Mississippi officials tried to consolidate the state's weapon manufacturing and storage efforts in Jackson early in the war, but federal troops under William T. Sherman captured Jackson in May 1863 and burned many of the state government buildings and supplies, including iron works and an artillery carriage facility. This federal attack and other Union incursions prompted Mississippi officials to relocate existing weapon stores to other locations throughout the war, including to out of state at places like Macon, Georgia, preventing the state from having a permanent and reliable armory facility for the duration of the Civil War. (Wikipedia; Timothy B. Smith, Mississippi in the Civil War, 73)

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