Gorgas, Josiah gôr´gəs [key], 1818–83, chief of ordnance in the Confederate army during the American Civil War, b. Dauphin co., Pa.; father of William Crawford Gorgas. He was commissioned in the ordnance corps and served in the Mexican War. In Apr., 1861, he resigned his Union commission and was appointed major and chief of ordnance in the Confederate army, rising to the rank of brigadier general in 1864. The Confederacy's supply of arms was dangerously low and manufacturing facilities almost nonexistent. Although Gorgas sent purchasing agents to Europe, no shipments were received before 1862. Despite the enormous difficulties, however, Gorgas built up the South's war machine and supplied munitions to the Confederate armies until the war's end. In 1869 he joined the faculty of the Univ. of the South, becoming vice chancellor in 1872. He was named president of the Univ. of Alabama in 1878.
See biography by F. E. Vandiver (1952).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies