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Con Rea Letters


The Constantine Rea Letter to COL Josiah Gorgas, Chief of Ordinance, Confederate States of America.


Before departing Meridian, Rea wrote to COL Josiah Gorgas explaining the situation in which he found himself.  Gorgas was the Chief of the Confederate Bureau of Ordinance which had recently been established on 8 April 1861.  Fort Smith was one of the Confederacy's principal arsenals.


Meridian Mississippi

May 24th 18__ [62]


Col J. Gorgas


This is to inform you that a part of my baggage was lost or stolen on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad which contained all the papers relative to the Ordinance Depot Department at Fort Smith, Arkansas except the books [several words illegible] exertions to recover them but so far I have failed. I have advertised in the newspaper, and posted handbills offering a reward double its' value. I have a coach on the roads but have not heard of it. Not knowing what else to do I can provide a copy of my accounts along with [illegible] affidavits. I can prove by Troskalorka [spelling may not be correct] that I paid for the items mentioned in it and I presume duplicates of the receipts might yet be obtained, and forwarded, the parties all being residents of Fort Smith, Arkansas except Ridgeley, No. 12413 which account was for lead. Ridgeley being a citizen of Mississippi.

Please let me know what is to be done about it. My commission is also lost, together with all my private papers. I could not help it and regret it very much, my report and account amount was all made out except that my certificate was not appended to the property report. We had not time to complete it, working night and day in getting the public property off from Little Rock and Fort Smith. I have brought on all the machinery in the Ordinance Department at Columbus, Mississippi, where you can communicate with him if you see proper.

I hope that all this will be satisfactory. But if it is not so considered, I am willing to undergo any amount of trouble rather than any doubts should rest over the transaction. The loss of my papers already given me a great deal of trouble and vexation of mind and I would like above all things to have the matter definitely settled. Of course, I can ask you to do nothing but your duty, but if you consider the showing I have made a satisfactory one you will lay me under obligations by so informing me.

Yours Truly

Con Rea, Capt.
C. S. I. and late Ord. Off.
Fort Smith


This article was developed with the research assistance of Mr. Ward Calhoun and The Constantine Rea Historical Society.  Much on Mr. Calhoun's own research and his publications as well as information provided by the Society have gone into this article.  To purchase Mr. Calhoun's publications, please contact the Lauderdale County Department of Archives and History for a list of his works.

Content Copyright 2008 W.L.White and The Constantine Rea Historical Society.

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