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First published in 1952, Ploughshares into Swords is a compound study of the life and Civil War record of Josiah Gorgas. A West Point graduate of the class of 1840, Gorgas chose to enter the Ordnance Corps. He supplied Scott's march to Mexico City in the Mexican War, but by 1860 he was out of sorts with his superiors and had many contacts in the South. When the Confederate States of America offered Gorgas the job of ordnance officer, he accepted the challenge, and the South gained the services of an administrative genius. Under his leadership the Confederacy developed an unfailing munitions supply that stood solidly while the rest of the Confederacy's supports crumbled. Long overshadowed in history by the exploits of the South's flamboyant field commanders and even by the achievements of his son William, the surgeon general who helped banish yellow fever, Josiah Gorgas's feats were finally presented in Ploughshares into Swords. This new printing makes the classic story available to a new generation who will appreciate Vandiver's flair for writing history in fluid prose.
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