Historic Markers Across Alabama

Selma Army Arsenal (1862~1865)

Marker ID:  
Location: intersection of Church St and Arsenal Place, Selma, AL
County: Dallas
Coordinates: N 32° 24.359    W 087° 01.289
  32.40598333    -87.02148333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMNT8E


Confederate Army Captain James White was ordered to relocate the old Federal Arsenal from Mt. Vernon, Alabama. By 1865 it consisted of 24 buildings and had over 500 workers including men, women, boys, girls, FMofC and slaves. It made or contracted for all manner of war materials including 30,000 rifle cartridges a day. These materials were then shipped from the C.S. Depot to all parts of the shrinking Confederacy. By 1865 Selma was producing 2/3 of all C.S. war materials and made the destruction of Selma the goal of "Wilson's Raid."

"April 6th. ...the rattle of exploding rifle and musket cartridges was deafening; we have not heard such a constant roar since the Battle of Chickamauga. The negroes had been cautioned to get all the artillery shells out, but in half an hour they began to explode, throwing fire and old iron 1,000 feet high. This made every fellow hunt his hole and crawl into it, too. The scene was hideous and unearthly beyond anything we had ever imagined. The explosions continued for three hours, much louder than any we had ever heard, and of sufficient violence to shake the earth for miles around, making the whole city a perfect pandemonium. What must have been the humiliation of Gens. Forrest and Taylor as they heard these tell-tale explosions and saw the fiery serpent of flame writhing in the sky over Selma, the mighty, strong and rich city!" ...Sgt. B.F. McGee, 72nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry of the Mounted Lightening Brigade

Erected by the April 1865 Society.

End of Selma Army Arsenal (1862~1865)