150th Anniversary of the Explosion of the Confederate Ordnance Laboratory at Richmond

The following teaser if from the March 13, 2013 edition of the Washington Post.

RICHMOND, Va. — They were little-known casualties of the Civil War: women and girls toiling over cartridges and primers for Confederate cannons when an explosion rocked their factory 150 years ago, leaving more than 40 dead and others horrifically burned.

The victims of the March 13, 1863, explosion of the Confederate Ordnance Laboratory were remembered Wednesday at a ceremony along the James River near what once was a bustling munitions plant for the South. Today it is a popular destination for Civil War buffs, concert-goers and downtown workers on their lunch break.

The ceremony dedicating a state historic marker in memory of the victims, many of them Irish immigrants, was attended by National Park Service historians, state officials and a representative from the Irish American Society of Richmond. They gathered across from Brown’s Island, where the ordnance complex was located to keep it a safe distance from the residents of the capital of the Confederacy.

The victims were young, some pre-teen, others in their 20s.

Read the full article.

Author: Leland Meitzler

Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (www.FamilyRootsPublishing.com), writes daily at GenealogyBlog.com, writes the weekly Genealogy Newsline, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library, and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

1 thought on “150th Anniversary of the Explosion of the Confederate Ordnance Laboratory at Richmond”

  1. Which of these buildings was called “the carbine factory”? My ggrandfather was first with Richmond Home Defense. As a machinist, (according to his CSA record) he was assigned there for the duration.

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