Charles Dimmock Compiled Service Record, M331, National Archives

Ordnance Department,
May 29, 1861

Major General Lee
Commanding Forces of Va.


It is wholly impossible for this Department to supply, and keep supplied the large number of troops operating in Virginia, with the various kinds of ammunition required, from the armory here.

Starting with nothing, I have with all the mechanics I can obtain, and with all the materials I can procure, supplied all thus far with about 40 rounds, each musket and piece, have made 50 gun carriages and caissons, and yet more of all kinds are daily called for and I cannot supply the demand.

This difficulty is increased from the fact, that I have had no cap machine until within a day or two. One [page break] is now making, but slowly – the caps to be filled by hand – and no bullet machine mould, though one for round balls will be ready in a day or two.

I therefore suggest most respectfully, that ammunition be required from some of the southern Arsenals immediately, else your Army will be out of ammunition. This can not be done too soon. Again, I suggest that the troops coming from the South bring their ammunition. I am now in fact furnishing, or attempting to furnish the whole army, Foot, Artillery, and Mounted, and I repeat, it cannot be done here.

I also ask if it would be improper for you to ask for the assistance here of Major Gorgas or some other officer of experience in the ordnance department.

Most respectfully,
C. Dimmock
Col. Of Ordnance.

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