“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Greenville in Greenville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Confederate Armory


Confederate Armory Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, June 4, 2008
1. Confederate Armory Marker
Inscription.  Erected on land donated to the state by Vardry McBee for the manufacture of arms for the South Carolina troops in the Confederate service. George W. Morse, superintendent of the works, invented and manufactured a breech-loading carbine pronounced by General Wade Hampton the best that he had seen.
Erected 1937 by Greenville Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the United Daughters of the Confederacy series list.
Location. 34° 51.32′ N, 82° 23.816′ W. Marker is in Greenville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker is at the intersection of North Main Street and East Elford Street, on the right when traveling north on North Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Greenville SC 29601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. SC Ordinance of Secession (here, next to this marker); In Memory of 81st Wildcat Division / Camp Sevier (here, next to this marker); Kershaw Brigade (a few steps
Confederate Armory Marker Vicinity image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, June 4, 2008
2. Confederate Armory Marker Vicinity
Click or scan to see
this page online
from this marker); General Robert E. Lee (within shouting distance of this marker); Greenville County Confederate Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Springwood Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Eighty Unnamed Soldiers (within shouting distance of this marker); Mrs. James Williams (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greenville.
More about this marker. One of several markers located in a park designed to remember those with military service. The park is located near the main entrance of Springwood Cemetery in downtown Greenville, SC.
Additional commentary.
1. About Vardry McBee
Vardry McBee was perhaps the most pivotal figure in the history of our city and Greenville County as a whole. thanks to his business acumen and impressive foresight for how the community could grow and prosper.

A product of the Carolina frontier, McBee was born in 1775 on the eve of the American Revolution, a conflict that would prove formative in his early years. Both his father and older brother fought with the Patriots, at King's Mountain and the Battle of Cowpens. McBee himself never fought for American independence, but instead used his considerable fortune to improve the lives of his fellow citizens, appropriating his land and
Confederate Armory Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Randy Tucker, February 2017
3. Confederate Armory Marker
fortunes to public projects.

McBee opened the first textile mill on the Reedy River, but he saw value in a diversified economy. In his private business life, that meant he owned two flour mills, a cotton factory, and wool and paper mills. Publicly, even as he approached his 80s, it led him to champion the construction of a railroad line that connected Columbia and Greenville. In 1853, this line became the first rail to serve the community, and it would eventually become a turning point in the economy of the town. (Source: G: The Magazine of Greenville, Jan/Feb 09, pg 66.)
    — Submitted March 14, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. Confederate Armory
George W. Morse was an arms expert who had been granted a patent for a metallic cartridge, breech-loading carbine on October 28, 1856. At the outbreak of the war, Morse was the superintendent of the armory at Nashville, Tennessee. He later supervised the establishment of the Greenville Armory, known as the State Works. This armory produced Morse's carbine, as well as muskets which were converted to breech-loaders. Morse's fine carbines were issued to Confederate cavalry units but were impractical for field use because their special metallic cartridges were in short supply. The armory was closed and
Vardry McBee<br>1776-1854 image. Click for full size.
Coxe Collection, Greenville County Historical Society
4. Vardry McBee
sold at auction in 1864.

The Greenville Chapter, U.D.C., erected this marker on December 19, 1937 for $200. The bronze tablet was originally mounted upon a four-foot-by-six-foot granite stone, the cornerstone of the Greenville Armory of the State Military Works. The fate of the granite stone, once located on Green Avenue, is unknown. The tablet is mounted today on a five-foot steel pole. (Source: A Guide to Confederate Monuments in South Carolina: "Passing the Silent Cup" by Robert S. Seigler (1997), pg 366.)
    — Submitted March 15, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 13, 2019. It was originally submitted on June 4, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,251 times since then and 88 times this year. Last updated on May 17, 2014. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 4, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   3. submitted on April 24, 2018, by Randy Tucker of Greenville, South Carolina.   4. submitted on September 20, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 9, 2022