The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004

Anvil of Ceres: The Confederate Foundry
at Waller Creek
BOB CAVENDISH*
N INE MONTHS AFTER FT. SUMTER, IN THE CONFEDERACY'S WESTERNMOST
state the Texas legislature enacted the means to acquire ordnance for
protection of the state and the new country that it had joined in March
1861. The Ninth Legislature created a board with the authority to cast ar-
tillery and obtain other implements of war. Known as the Texas Military
Board, it used money and state assets to establish, in Austin, a foundry on
the banks of Waller Creek where the board hoped to produce military ord-
nance sufficient to equip locally raised units with bronze six-pound field
pieces. The foundry's major achievement, however, would be its support
of regional farmers. Blacksmiths and mechanics were scarce across rural
Texas, and the outbreak of the Civil War led many of them into military
service. The state foundry at Waller Creek filled the gap created by the ab-
sence of these men, thereby redeeming its failure to produce artillery.1
The Texas Military Board became the only governmental agency
charged specifically with providing for the state's wartime defense. The
Ninth Texas Legislature established the Texas Military Board on January
11, 1862. Governor Francis R. Lubbock, Comptroller C. R. Johns, and
Treasurer C. H. Randolph comprised the three-member board. Section
one of the act gave five hundred thousand dollars in bonds to the board
for procuring and manufacturing arms and ordnance in defense of the
state. Section five of the act charged the board to ". .. establish a foundry
for the manufacture of ordnance ... at such place or places as said Board
may select."2
* Bob Cavendish earned his master's degree in 2ooo from Texas State University and is an ad-
junct professor on the history faculty at Austin Community College.
Halsey, Ashley, Jr., "South Carohna Began Preparing for War in 1851," Cizvl War Tzmes Illustrated
(Oct, 1963), 8-1o
'Act of January 1 , 1862, "Legislation," box 2-10/306, Texas State Foundry Collection 1863-1865;
cited hereafter as Foundry Collection (Texas State Archives, Austin), Charles W. Ramsdell, "The Texas
State Military Board, 1862-1865," Southwestern Hzstoncal Quarterly, 27 (Apr., 1924), 253-275;Juha L. Vi-
vian, "Milhtary Board of Texas," The Handbook of Texas Online, http://www tsha utexas.edu/handbook/
onhne/articles/view/GG/dlgl.html.
VOL. CVII, NO. 4 SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY APRIL 2004

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/. Accessed September 19, 2014.