Some Interesting History

I stumbled across some interesting history this morning. It turns out that the planned Ruger firearms factory in Mayodan will not be the first arms factory in Rockingham County. That honor goes to a factory owned by Alexander Searcy and Dr. J. S. Moore which made rifles for the Confederate Army in 1862-63.

Hogan’s Creek is located in western Rockingham County south of the towns of Madison and Mayodan.

According to a book on the Confederate Army in North Carolina and Tennessee, the rifles made at the Searcy & Moore plant were called “N.C. Rifles”. Only about 100 rifles were made at the Searcy & Moore factory.

The Searcy & Moore factory and all its equipment was purchased by the State of North Carolina in 1863 and transferred to the North Carolina Armory at Florence. This armory was started at the beginning of the war in the village of Florence which is just north of present day Jamestown. From the newsletter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans,  Frazier Camp:

The armory was still operating after the various contractors had gone out of business and assembled many guns from parts from these and other sources. One example of this was in July1863 when the State purchased all of the materials of Searcy & Moore (located at Rocky Springs in Rockingham County) and sent them to the Florence Armory. Henry Clay Briggs wrote that his father worked in the government gun shop at Florence for six months and that he made springs and triggers. This was the only military arms manufactory still operating in this area in April 1865 and was burned by Yankee raiders.

I’m sure when the Ruger plant is up and running it will make more firearms in one day than the Searcy & Moore factory did in a year. Still, I find the history of this small arms maker interesting.

Would They Prefer The Term “The Late Unpleasantness”?

The editors of the New York Daily News are all bent out of shape by the new president of the National Rifle Association, Jim Porter. It seems that they take exception to his use a Southern euphemism for the American Civil War.

Elected on the eve of the NRA’s annual convention, set to start Friday in Houston, James Porter
takes over as its president with a long record of Second Amendment
absolutism, conspiracy theory looniness and racial repulsiveness.

What they term racial repulsiveness is Mr. Porter’s use of the euphemism – the War of North Aggression. Given that Mr. Porter is from Alabama, it is one of those tongue in cheek expressions often used as an alternative name for the Civil War just like War Between the States and, the even more genteel, The Late Unpleasantness”.

I guess the editors of the Daily News forget their city’s own little bit of racial repulsiveness during the Civil War – the Draft Riots of 1863.

Initially intended to express anger at the draft, the protests turned into an ugly race riot, with the white rioters, chiefly Irish immigrants, attacking blacks wherever they could be found. At least 100 black people were estimated to have been killed. The conditions in the city were such that Major General John E. Wool, commander of the Department of the East, stated on July 16, “Martial law ought to be proclaimed, but I have not a sufficient force to enforce it.” The military did not reach the city until after the first day of rioting, when mobs had already ransacked or destroyed numerous public buildings, two Protestant churches, the homes of various abolitionists or sympathizers, many black homes, and the Colored Orphan Asylum at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue, which was burned to the ground.

As to that conspiracy theory looniness, they are speaking of the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty in which Mr. Porter’s comments have been spot on.

Gettysburg Veterans (video)

I stumbled across this really interesting video of a reunion of both Union and Confederate veterans from the Battle of Gettysburg. The reunion was the 75th reunion in 1938. The most touching part is when they were going to re-enact Pickett’s Charge and the Union vets ended up surging towards the Conferates and hugging them.

With the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor just past, it is a reminder of the sacrifices that all veterans have made for this country over the years.