Manufacturing in Alabama During the Civil War

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This is the narrative of the courage and perseverance of a people in their tremendous industrial fight to supply their ill-equipped soldiers with the sinews of war. It is the account of the development of manufacturing in a commonwealth which dared to claim its political independence while yet it was in economic slavery, dependent upon outside sources for every necessity of life. It is the story of the birth of war industries in a state which, gripped by a one crop agricultural system and largely destitute of industrial establishments, commerce, or munitions of war, gallantly ventured forth on the course of a terrible conflict with a foundation no more substantial than a profound assurance that "one Southerner can lick five Yankees."

The struggle resolved itself into a war of material resources. In the possession of these the Confederacy was sadly lacking. In the realm of manufactures, the North was rich while the South was poor. The Cotton Kingdom had had no place for great manufacturing establishments. Immense industrial possibilities had been neglected. . The available labor lacked skill and versatility. Little effort had been exerted to develop transportation and commercial facilities. The South was the victim of agricultural specialization, and economic insufficiency.