Arsenal

1775 – Arsenal established, producing gunpowder, cartridges, and accoutrements for soldiers. (possibly on land now occupied by W.W. Driskill general store, and across the street on land now occupied by the Alum Springs Hotel); supplied forces in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, including for American General Nathaniel Greene.

1780, December 25 – Letter from Thomas Jefferson to George Rogers Clark during the American Revolutionary War, indicating that he would be supplied with “1000lb. of Rifle powder from New London and 1500lb of lead from the lead mines,” presumably from the arsenal at New London.

1781-1783 – Much back and forth between military officials about the Arsenal at New London. Great concerns over lack of funding, resulting in an inability to pay soldiers and purchase clothing and other necessities. Concerns about possibly moving the stores away from New London to hide them from the British. Some moved at times. Lead for the “laboratories” came from the lead mines at Wytheville, under Col. Lynch, but there were difficulties getting supplied. (see Thompson, pp. 12-24)

1781, February 14 – Date of letter from New London from Edmund Hyrne, to Governor Thomas Jefferson. Hyrne had been marching prisoners of war to Staunton when some of them escaped and were hiding in the area. He requested that the Governor relieve him of his prisoners. Oral history from a Mead descendant has prisoners of war temporarily being housed at Mead’s Tavern at one point.

1781, July 16 – British General Cornwallis sent General Tarleton to attempt to capture the arsenal at New London; appears he never made it.

1798 – Arsenal removal to Harper’s Ferry begins. No more arms manufacture, only storage.

1812 – Arsenal removal to Harper’s Ferry completed.

 

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