From the Richmond Enquirer, 2/8/1861

THE ARMORY. - Governor Letcher, accompanied by Col. Mumford, Secretary of the Commonwealth, and the Adjutant General, visited the Armory on Wednesday, and made a minute inspection of every department thereof.

The Governor and suite arrived at the Armory at half past nine o'clock, and were received in true military style by Captain Dimmock, Lieutenants Gay and Kerr, and the men under their command. The guard, headed by the Armory Band, were drawn up on the parade ground, and when the Governor made his appearance they presented arms, and when were reviewed by him, and subsequently passed in review in common and quick time. The review being over, the Lieutenant commanding the parade presented himself before the Governor to ascertain his further wishes, whereupon the Governor expressed himself much pleased, and said that he intended to present the command with a flag for the use of the Armory, for which the Lieutenant expressed his thanks.

As the Governor was on his way to the armory in company with Captain Dimmock and the officials above mentioned, he asked the Captain if he had a flag hoisted, to which the Captain replied he had received no orders about the flag he was to hoist, and thereupon the Governor said, I now give you the order to hoist the State flag, (an order which was promptly carried out, for Captain Dimmock having none such at hand, immediately sent to the Capitol and procured one, and before the Governor got through with his inspection the glorious banner of this glorious State was floating proudly in the breeze from the flag-staff over the main gate.)

When the inspection of the guard was over, the Governor proceeded at once to an inspection of every department; he visited the office, where he found the efficient clerk, Colonel Richardson engaged at his duties; here he made an examination of some arms, then he went to the wing which is being fitted up for machinery, and made careful inquiry into the progress of the work and everything connected therewith; thence he proceeded to the Armorer's department, where he a cordial shake hands with Messrs. Barnes and Glenn, who for many a long year have served the State as faithful, industrious and loyal servants. He next visited the carriage shop, where carriages for various sized guns and for the Howitzer Company are being built, and, by the way [?] they are admirable specimens of Virginia workmanship. Next he inspected the wing which is being gutted for the erection of a new [ ] and thence he went to the laboratory. This department especially attracted his attention, for here were some dozen or fifteen persons as busy as bees making up all sorts of ammunition for small arms and great guns, and doing their work in a manner most systemic and highly creditable to the Superintendent, Captain Dimmock. Having completed the tour of inspection the Governor, accompanied by Col. Mumford and some officers of the Guard proceeded to the Tredegar works to ascertain what progress was being made in the manufacture of machinery for the armory, and also to see the process of making guns, shot, shell, carriages, &c. Here, as well as at the Armory, the Governor examined everything with the greatest care, and visited every workshop where guns and munitions of war, were being manufactured, and he made such close enquiries as plainly showed that he felt deep interest in our means of defence. He was shown through the works by Joseph R. Anderson, Esq., and his associates, and after examining various mortars, great guns and munitions of war ordered by several of the seceding States, here turned to the armory where were assembled several members of the Legislature, and after some further enquiries, he took his departure. Having had equal opportunity with the Governor in seeing all that we have mentioned above, we must accord our meed of praise to Captain Dimmock for the energy, efficiency and skill displayed by him in the management of the Armory, and also to the officers under his command, but, at the same time we must say that we could expect no less from captain Dimmock, for he is a West Point officer, who has not only had great experience in the ordinance, engineering, quarter master and commissariat department of the General Government, but has for many a long year rendered efficient service in the State as Commandant of the Armory Guard and Superintendent of the Armory.

We were much pleased to see the Governor make so careful an examination of our military resources, for it is one of the things particularly essential now.

Go to top