- Pittsburgh in the American Civil War
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvaniawas a thriving and important city during the American Civil War, and provided a significant source of personnel, war materiel, armament, ammunition, and supplies to the Union Army. Situated at the confluence of the Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio rivers, Pittsburgh was an important transportation hub for both riverine and rail transport, as well as overland via its system of roads.
Production of war materiel
antebellumiron industry in Pittsburgh had thrived, fueled by access to coal, iron ore, and other raw materials, as well as transportation routes to get the iron to markets. In 1859, the Clinton and Soho iron furnaces introduced coke-fire smeltingto the region. Within three years, the growing needs of the military effort during the Civil War had boosted the city's economy with increased production of iron and armaments, especially at the Allegheny Arsenaland the Fort Pitt Foundry. [Boucher, "A Century and a Half of Pittsburg and Her People".] Arms manufacture included ironcladwarships and the world's first 21" heavy artillery gun. [Thurston, "Allegheny County's Hundred Years".] By war's end, over one-half of the steeland more than one-third of all U.S. glass was produced in Pittsburgh. [Meislik and Galloway, "History of Pittsburgh."]
During the war, Pittsburgh's heavy industry provided significant quantities of weapons and ammunition. The Fort Pitt Foundry made mammoth iron castings for giant siege
howitzers and mortars, among the largest guns in the world. One of the largest was a 20-inch bore Rodman Gun, a large black powder, smoothbore, muzzle-loading coastal defense gun. [Cite web |title=The Strip District: Rodman's Great Guns |url=http://www.clpgh.org/exhibit/neighborhoods/strip/strip_n41.html |accessdate=8-1-2008] [cite journal |title=A Twenty-Inch Gun; Casting at the Fort Pitt Foundry |journal= New York Times|year=1864 |issue=Feb. 21] The foundry produced 1,193 guns (15 percent of the total U.S. wartime artillery production) and almost 200,000 artillery projectiles. Other prominent Pittsburgh area factories included Singer, Nimick and Co. (maker of 3" Ordnance rifles) and Smith, Park and Co., which produced more than 300,000 projectiles. Pittsburgh industries collectively manufactured 10 percent of the total U.S. wartime production of artillery rounds.
The Allegheny Arsenal was the primary military manufacturing facility for U.S. Army accoutrements, as well as saddles and other cavalry equipment. In addition, the sprawling factory produced as many as 40,000 bullets and cartridges every day (more than 14 million per year), supplying between 5 and 10 percent of the Army's annual small arms ammunition requirements. A significant explosion on the afternoon of
September 17 1862(ironically, concurrent with the Battle of Antietamin central Maryland), killed 78 factory workers, mostly young women.
Five "Ellet"-class rams were converted from civilian towboats at Pittsburgh. In addition, four ironclads were built from the keel up—the USS "Manayunk", "Marietta", "Sandusky", and "Umpqua". Pittsburgh's rolling mills supplied the armor for many of the ironclads that were built in
New York Cityand Philadelphiafor the Union Navy.
Concerned that the Confederate Army might target Pittsburgh for invasion, the U.S. War Department established the
Department of the Monongahelato provide a formal Federal military presence in Western Pennsylvania during the Gettysburg Campaign, with departmental headquarters in Pittsburgh. The Army dispatched Maj. Gen. William T. H. Brooksto organizes the defenses of Pittsburgh. Brooks authorized the construction of several miles of earthworks and a series of small forts to control access to the city. He suspended liquor sales, closed the bars and taverns, and put the citizenry to work digging trenches and erecting forts.
Among these bastions was
Fort Robert Smalls, a redoubtbuilt by free blacks on McGuire's Hill at the mouth of Becks Runin Arlington Heights. [cite web |title=Greater Pittsburgh Area |url=http://www.northamericanforts.com/East/pa-pitt.html |accessdate=8-1-2008] Another of these emergency fortifications was the circular earthwork known as Fort Laughlin, constructed by the employees of Jones and Laughlin Steelon "Ormsby's Hill", now part of Arlington Park on Arlington Avenue. It was also known as "Fort McKinley" or "Fort Ormsby". [cite web |title=Greater Pittsburgh Area |url=http://www.northamericanforts.com/East/pa-pitt.html ] Concurrent with Fort Laughlin, Jones and Laughlin Steel employees constructed Fort Jones, named for the mill's co-owner, Benjamin Franklin Jones . Fort Jones occupied the top of a hill in Mount Oliver. [cite web |title=Greater Pittsburgh Area |url=http://www.northamericanforts.com/East/pa-pitt.html |accessdate-7-04-2008] It was sometimes known as "Fort Jackson", in honor of Brig. Gen. Conrad Feger Jackson, killed in the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia in December of 1862. [cite book |last=Fox |first=Arthur B. |title=Pittsburgh During the American Civil War, 1860-1865 |year=2002 ISBN=0976056305]
Notable leaders from Pittsburgh
The greater Pittsburgh area was the birthplace or long-time residence of several Union army and navy officers, as well as some leading politicians of the era.
Other important personalities of the Civil War born in the immediate Pittsburgh area included Col.
Daniel Leasure, Congressman Robert McKnight, industrialist William Metcalf, and Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Rowley.
Among the recipients of the
Medal of Honorfor gallantry in action during the war were Alexander Kelly, a free black who fought in the 6th U.S.C.T..
Civil War attractions in Pittsburgh
Soldiers and Sailors National Military Museum and Memorialis a National Register of Historic Placeslandmark. It is the largest memorial in the United States dedicated solely to honoring all branches of military veterans and service personnel.
* Boucher, John Newton, "A Century and a Half of Pittsburg and Her People", The Lewis Publishing Company, 1908.
* Meislik, Miriam, and Galloway, Ed. "History of Pittsburgh," Society of American Archivists Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, 1999.
* Thurston, George H., "Allegheny County's Hundred Years", Pittsburgh: A. A. Anderson Son, 1888.
Pennsylvania in the American Civil War
History of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Conclusion of the American Civil War — The McLean house where Lee surrendered to Grant on April 9, 1865. This is a timeline of the conclusion of the American Civil War which includes important battles, skirmishes, raids and other events of 1865. These led to additional Confederate… … Wikipedia
Virginia in the American Civil War — The Commonwealth of Virginia was a prominent part of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. It sponsored a convention about secession on February 13, 1861, after six states seceded to form the Confederacy on February 4.… … Wikipedia
Pennsylvania in the American Civil War — During the American Civil War, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania played a critical role in the Union, providing a huge supply of military manpower, equipment, and leadership to the Federal government. The state raised over 360,000 soldiers for the … Wikipedia
Cincinnati in the American Civil War — For Ulysses S. Grant s horse, see Cincinnati (horse). Cincinnati in 1862, a lithograph in Harper s Weekly. During the American Civil War, the Ohio River port city of Cincinnati, Ohio, played a key role as a major source of supplies and troops for … Wikipedia
Cleveland in the American Civil War — A photograph taken on Public Square of hundreds of Cleveland veterans from the American Civil War in 1865 Cleveland, Ohio, was an important Northern city during the American Civil War. It provided thousands of troops to the Union Army, as well as … Wikipedia
Romney, West Virginia in the American Civil War — The city of Romney, Virginia (now West Virginia) traded hands between the Union Army and Confederate States Army no fewer than 10 times during the American Civil War, assuming the occupying force spent at least one night in the town. (Oral… … Wikipedia
Charleston, South Carolina in the American Civil War — The ruins of Mills House and nearby buildings, Charleston A shell damaged carriage and the remains of a brick chimney in the foreground. 1865 … Wikipedia
West Virginia in the American Civil War — Confederate States in the American Civil War South Carolina Mississippi Florida Alabama … Wikipedia
Washington, D.C. in the American Civil War — President Lincoln insisted that construction of the United States Capitol continue during the Civil War. As capital of the United States, the federal district of Washington, D.C., became a significant civilian leadership, military headquarters,… … Wikipedia
New York City in the American Civil War — New York City during the American Civil War (1861–1865) was a bustling American city that provided a major source of troops, supplies, and equipment for the Union Army. Powerful New York politicians and newspaper editors helped shape public… … Wikipedia