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Clarksville in Montgomery County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Whitfield, Bradley & Co.

 
 
Whitfield, Bradley & Co. Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 31, 2015
1. Whitfield, Bradley & Co. Marker
Inscription. When the war began, the South had few ironworks capable of producing cannons. Confederate Chief of Ordnance Josiah Gorgas noted that "we were not making a gun, a pistol nor a sabre, no shot nor shell." Soon, however, Clarksville's Whitfield, Bradley & Co. was among the Tennessee manufacturers casting cannons for the Confederate army.

To meet the demand for munitions, foundries quit making stoves, kettles, and agricultural implements and retooled to produce cannon, shot, and shell. Starting in June 1861, Whitfield, Bradley & Co. cast six- and nine-pounder guns (the weight of the projectiles they fired). Early in 1862, the firm began making twelve-pounder howitzers. The guns were tested for accuracy by firing them at a tree across the Cumberland River. The Clarksville Jeffersonian reported that "Whitfield, Bradley & Co. are turning out some beautiful cannon."

Several guns were sent to Fort Donelson. Confederate Maj. Jeremy Gilmer noted "2 small iron guns that were manufactured at Clarksville," and battery commander Capt. B.G. Birdwell described them as "two small 9 or 12 pounders, made in Clarksville, of very little account" in his after-action report.

The company produced shot and shell for field artillery and thirty-two-pounder canister rounds for heavy artillery. It also finished several guns for a
View of marker at the back of the Clarksville Police parking lot. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 31, 2015
2. View of marker at the back of the Clarksville Police parking lot.
major cannon manufacturer, Thomas M. Brennan's Claiborne Machine Works in Nashville. After the surrender of Clarksville in February 1862, Union troops shuttered the munitions factory for the duration of the war. The company reopened with new owners and continues in business today in a different location.
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Location. 36° 31.579′ N, 87° 21.649′ W. Marker is in Clarksville, Tennessee, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Commerce Street east of North Spring Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Located in the Clarksville Police Department parking lot, behind the Police and Fire Department buildings. Marker is at or near this postal address: 120 Commerce Street, Clarksville TN 37040, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Town Spring (within shouting distance of this marker); John Montgomery Statue (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Court House (about 700 feet away); Clarksville in the Civil War (about 700 feet away); Arlington Hotel (about 700 feet away); Montgomery County Courthouse (about 700 feet away); Freedom Light (about 800 feet away); Pioneer Newspaper (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clarksville.
 
Also see . . .  History during the Civil War of the foundry. (Submitted on September 4, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 4, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 4, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 149 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 4, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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