“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tyler in Smith County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Ordnance Plant

Near Site of C.S.A.

Ordnance Plant Marker image. Click for full size.
By Randal B. Gilbert, December 6, 2015
1. Ordnance Plant Marker
Inscription. Founded in 1862 by J.C. Short and Wm. S. N. Biscoe (both gunsmiths) and Col. Geo. Yarbrough. In 2-story brick main building, on 125 acre site, contracted to make for State of Texas 5,000 rifles for the arming of troops in the Civil War. After trouble obtaining men and material, plant was sold in October 1863 to the Confederate government. Short and Biscoe stayed on with the plant, to continue making guns.

With machinery and men evacuated from areas under siege in Arkansas, operated under the command of Lt. Col. G.H. Hill. Plant included leather shop, tin shop, dry kiln, carpenter shop. The 150 to 200 man work force had (besides gunsmiths and guards) butchers, tanners, blacksmiths, draftsmen, carpenters, harness makers, and coal burners; guns made were .54 caliber, long and short Hill Rifles; long and short Texas Rifles; Austrian, Enfield and Tyler Rifles, with barrels 27 to 37½ inches long. Some were equipped with steel tipped bayonets invented by Short. During 3 months of 1864, products made were 394,156 cartridges, 411 rifles and 3,531 canteens; 160 guns were repaired.

Many Tyler rifles were sent to troops fighting north and east of Red River, to prevent a Federal invasion of Texas.
Erected 1968 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 7763.)
Ordnance Plant Marker image. Click for full size.
By Randal B. Gilbert, December 5, 2015
2. Ordnance Plant Marker

Location. 32° 19.927′ N, 95° 18.139′ W. Marker is in Tyler, Texas, in Smith County. Marker is at the intersection of West Fourth Street (State Highway 64/110) and South College Avenue, on the right when traveling west on West Fourth Street. Click for map. This marker is near the southwest corner of Bergfeld Park. Marker is in this post office area: Tyler TX 75701, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Site of Confederate Arms Factory (approx. 0.4 miles away); Woman's Building (approx. half a mile away); Chilton-Lipstate-Taylor House (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Connally Home (approx. 0.7 miles away); Ramey House (approx. 0.8 miles away); Whitaker-McClendon House (approx. 0.9 miles away); Tyler Junior College (approx. 1.1 miles away); John B. & Ketura Douglas House (approx. 1.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Tyler.
Regarding Ordnance Plant. This marker is approximately one third mile from the actual location of the Ordnance Works. When the Confederate Ordnance Bureau purchased the private company facilities, all of the men and some of the equipment from the Little Rock, Arkansas Arsenal was moved to this facility in October 1863. At its peak in early 1865 the facility employed nearly 400 men. It was abandoned in early May 1865.
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Randal B. Gilbert of Tyler, Texas. This page has been viewed 90 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Randal B. Gilbert of Tyler, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on July 19, 2016.
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