Confederate Arms in SC

Confederate Arsenals in South Carolina

Beaufort Arsenal

Camden Powder Magazine

Charleston Arsenal

Columbia Arsenal

Confederate Naval Shipyards in South Carolina

Mars Bluff (near Florence) CSS Pee Dee built and launched November 1864

James Eason Shipyard, Charleston built the Chicora & Charleston

F.M. Jones, Haddrell's Point, Mount Pleasant built the Columbia

James march shipyard, Charleston built the Palmetto State

Purrysburg (near Hardeesville) converted the Fingal to the C. S. Ram Atlanta which operated in Georgia waters.

Confederate Arms Manufacturers Operating in South Carolina

Alexander, John & Co.: Columbia, S.C. The Charleston Mercury of March 27, 1862, stated that the churches of Sumter, South Carolina, turned in their bells, about 1500 pounds of metal, to be cast into howitzers by the above.

Cameron & Company: Charleston, S.C. - Archibald Cameron, proprietor. Cameron & Company cast its first cannon, a large 12-pounder iron rifle, in May, 1861. A fire heavily gutted the plant in December, 1861. During the reconstruction interim a temporary foundry was established on King Street and the casting of shot and shell continued. Throughout the war the firm concentrated on the rifling of heavy cannon, the casting of artillery projectiles, and the construction of ship machinery. Few cannon were delivered.

Cameron, Taylor & Johnson: Charleston, S.C. The firm which made a very limited number of wrought iron guns. Also known as Cameron & McDurmit, or Phoenix Iron Works.

Congaree Foundry: Columbia, S.C. Two cannon cast by the above are known to survive. No additional information.

Courtney & Tennant: Charleston, S.C. Importers through the blockade of naval supplies. They did not manufacture. Courtney & Tennant imported naval officer's swords and naval cutlasses made by Robert Mole & Sons of Birmingham, England. The names of both Mole and Courtney & Tennant are stamped on the blade.

J. M. Eason Bros.: Charleston, S.C. The firm was operated by James M. and Thomas D. Eason. Eason firm prepared machinery and rifled 24-pounder smoothbores for the State of South Carolina. A portable rifling machine was made which could rifle guns at various distant locations. General Beauregard, had several Columbiads rifled by Eason. Two 10-inch Columbiads rifled by Eason survive at Charleston.

Kraft, Goldschmidt & Kraft "K.G. & G.", Columbia, S.C. The firm manufactured swords and rehilted a number of Napoleonic war blades (French, Spanish and German) - long straight double-edged weapons. General Wade Hampton carried one of these.

George W. Morse, Greenville, S.C. The firm manufactured the Morse Carbine. The Morse Carbine started production in Nashville, moved to Atlanta and eventually to Greenville, SC. The serial number range for the Greenville production was between 300 and 1025. The .54 caliber carbine was breech loading. The receiver was brass because this non-ferrous metal could be casted and machined easier with semi-skilled labor. The operating lever was one-piece brass and quite heavy. The bolt head which contained the firing pin was also one-piece brass. The action was only locked when the hammer was down in the fired position. After testing, it was found that improvements were necessary because the bolt face became eroded by the escaping gas from punctured caps. Also the brass bolt face had begun to set back.

Palmetto Iron Works: Columbia, S.C. - Founded in 1850 by William Glaze, a Columbia silversmith and jeweler, was located at the corner of Laurel and Lincoln Streets (also called the Palmetto Armory). Manufactured Model 1842 muskets with bayonets, Model 1841 Mississippi rifles, 1842 dragoon pistols, Model 1840 cavalry sabers with scabbards, Model 1840 light artillery sabers, and 10-inch shells. Also, several revolving cannon were made. The weapons were invented by a man named "George" and they worked on the order of Colt's revolvers. The guns were never adopted by the Government.

State Military Works: Greenville, S.C. The State Military Works was put in operation in late 1862 and by early 1863 employed 75 hands in the manufacture of breech loading small arms. The manufacture of cannon and gun carriages was also contemplated at that time. Whether or not any cannon were eventually cast in Greenville is unknown. See the listing on "Morse" for more.

Information based upon records from:
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, US Naval Records & Library, published in 1921.

William Albaugh, A Photographic Supplement to Confederate Swords

Anthony and Hills Pictorial History Confederate Longarms and Pistols

Charleston Mercury newspaper

A special thanks to which extracted many of these records and made them searchable.