From the Richmond Whig, 7/9/1861
THE CARTRIDGE FACTORY. - The cartridges used by the Confederate Army, in Virginia, are made in a large factory building, near the Petersburg Depot. From one hundred to two hundred a fifty white women and girls, we learn, are employed to this important and dangerous business, and while we feel assured that those in charge have taken every precaution to prevent the occurrence of an accident, our apprehensions for the safety of the employees will not suffer us to remain silent. It is reported that particles of gunpowder are dropped upon the floor, and that men, with nails in the soles of their shoes, walk freely through the building. Be this as it may, we entertain the decided opinion that it is risking too much to bring several hundred persons together in one building, to work upon gunpowder. Cartridges must be made, but we are unable to understand that it is necessary they should all be made at one place. To avert the horrible calamity which would result from an explosion at the factory now occupied by the cartridge makers, we trust that the proper authorities will at once make arrangements for employing the operatives at as many different localities as their safety may render expedient. Not more than fifteen or twenty, it seems to us, should be employed in one building, and the cartridges should be removed as fast as they are made. In saying this much, we feel that we have discharged a duty, and should anything untoward now happen, we will have the consciousness of knowing that we did our part towards averting it.