munitions of war. Of the proprietor of the Hazard Powder Company, in Connecticut, you will probably be able to obtain cannon and musket powder, the former to be of the coarsest grain, and also to engage with him for the establishment of a powder mill at some point in the limits of our territory. The quantity of powder to be supplied immediately will exceed his stock on hand, and the arrangement for further supply should, if possible, be my manufacture in our own territory. If this is not practicable, means must be sought for further shipments from any and all sources which are reliable. At the arsenal at Washington you will find an artifice named Wright, who has brought the cap-making machine to its present state of efficiency, and who might furnish a cap machine and accompany it to direct its operations. If not in this, I hope you may in some way be able to obtain a cap machine with little delay, and have it sent to the Mount Vernon Arsenal, Ala. We shall require a manufactory of friction-primers, and will, if possible, induce some capable person to establish one in our country. The demand of the Confederate States will be the inducement in this as in the case of the powder mill proposed. A short time since the most improved machinery for the manufacture of rifles, intended for the Harper's Ferry Arsenal, was, it was said, for sale by the manufacturer. If it be so at this time, you will procure it for this Government, and use the needful precaution in relation to its transportation. Mr. Barbour, the superintendent of the Harper's Ferry Armory, can give you all the information in that connection which you may require. Mr. Ball, the master armorer at Harper's Ferry, si willing to accept service under our Government, and could probably bring with him some skilled workmen. If we get the machinery this will be important. Machinery for grooving muskets and heavy guns, with persons skilled in their use, is, I hope, to be purchased ready-made. If not, you will contract for their manufacture and delivery. You will endeavor to obtain the most improved shot for rifled cannon, and persons skilled in the preparation of shot and other fixed ammunition. Captain G. W. Smith and Captain Lovell, late of the U. S. Army, and now of New York City, may aid you in your task; and you will please say to them that we would be happy to have their services in our army. You will make such inquiries as your varied knowledge will suggest in relation to the supply of guns of different calibers, especially the largest. I suggest the advantage, if to be obtained, of having a few of the 15-inch guns like the one cast at Pittsburg. I have not sought to prescribe so as to limit inquiries, either as to object or place, but only to suggest for your reflection and consideration the points which have chanced to come under my observation. You will use your discretion in visiting places where information of persons or things is to be obtained for the furtherance of the object in view. Any contracts made will be sent to the Hon. L. P. Walker, Secretary of War, for his approval, and the contractor need not fear that delay will be encountered in the action of this Government.
Very respectfully, yours, &c.,
SELMA, ALA., February 22, 1861.
Messrs. ROBERT H. SMITH and COLIN J. McRAE:
GENTLEMEN: As our immediate representatives in the Congress of the Confederate States of America, we write you in regard to the purchase of the Selma Manufacturing Company as an armory for the