Tredegar Iron Works

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 :: Tredegar Iron Works ::
Information about the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, VA during the Civil War.

Owned and operated by Joseph Reid Anderson, the Tredegar Iron Works were located on the James River, where Fourth street would meet the river if it extended that far south. During its operation, it produced 1199 cannon for the Confederacy as well as armor plating and boilers for iron-clads.


847 [Ruins of Arsenal, Tredegar Iron Works in distance.] Alexander Gardner
848 [Ruins inside the Arsenal; Tredegar Iron Works in distance.] Alexander Gardner
862 [Tredegar Iron Works, showing footbridge to Brown's Island; man sitting nearby.] Alexander Gardner


View of the Tredegar Iron Works. from the Petersburgh R. R. Bridge, Richmond, Va.

Plan of Tredgar Iron Works, from Ironmaker to the Confederacy, by Charles A. Dew
Detail of 1867 U. S. Army Corps of Engineers map, showing the Tredegar Iron Works and vicinity.

Written Accounts

Richmond Dispatch

10/31/1860; notes on the wool manufacturers of Virginia, especially Crenshaw Woolen mills.

Richmond Enquirer 1/4/1861; notice of improvements at Tredegar Iron Works
New York Herald 1/21/1861; 1000 kegs of powder from Tredegar arrive at Charleston
Richmond Enquirer 2/8/1861; detailed account of Governor Letcher's inspection visit to the Armory and Tredegar
Richmond Dispatch 4/15/1861; account of the response in Richmond to the fall of Fort Sumter; extensive celebration and flag-raising at the Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Enquirer 4/15/1861; excellent description of the reaction in Richmond to the news of the fall of Ft. Sumter - description of parade to Tredegar Iron Works and Capitol Square - notes disappointed reaction to Letcher's remarks, and the raising and subsequent lowering of the Confederate flag on the Capitol roof
Richmond Dispatch 4/26/1861; Tredegar Iron Works Battalion elects officers
Richmond Whig 4/27/1861; p. 3, Tredegar Iron Works Battalion elects officers
Richmond Dispatch 5/20/1861; two attempts to destroy the Tredegar Iron Works by fire
Richmond Dispatch 5/22/1861; incorrect threat of fire to the Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Dispatch 6/10/1861; Tredegar Iron Works needs timber to build large building (probably the new gun foundry)
Richmond Dispatch 6/10/1861; Tredegar Iron Works needs carriage wheels
Richmond Dispatch 6/10/1861; Tredegar Iron Works needs Wheelwrights and Blacksmiths
Richmond Dispatch 7/1/1861; member of the Tredegar Battalion is wounded by a bursting gun
Richmond Dispatch 7/2/1861; more on the wounding of a member of the Tredegar Battalion by a bursting gun
Richmond Dispatch 7/3/1861; Wood Turners and Pattern Makers are needed at the Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Dispatch 7/5/1861; Tredegar Battalion (numbering 360) parades through the streets
Richmond Dispatch 7/6/1861; description of target practice by the Tredegar Battalion after their parade
Richmond Enquirer 7/6/1861; description of the celebration of the 4th of July in Richmond - Tredegar Battalion parades on Capitol Square, along with the Thomas Artillery, Public Guard, and Washington Artillery
Charleston Mercury 7/8/1861; war news - describes that Fourth of July parade of the Tredegar Battalion as well as notes on the political situation
Richmond Dispatch 7/10/1861; ad from Co. A,  Tredegar Battalion expressing thanks to various persons
Richmond Enquirer 7/11/1861; Cannon made at Bellona Arsenal, and lying on the basin bank, have been spiked by some "Yankee spy"
Richmond Dispatch 7/24/1861; Runaway slave from the Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Enquirer 7/29/1861; notice from Tredegar that all orders will be paid in cash
Charleston Mercury 8/16/1861; amazingly descriptive article describing a traveler's arrival to Richmond and the Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Dispatch 8/24/1861; note from Co. B, Tredegar Bn., thanking J. R. Anderson and others for contributing towards uniforming the company
Richmond Dispatch 9/6/1861; J. R. Anderson (Tredegar Iron Works) promoted to Brigadier General
Charleston Mercury 9/12/1861; two large Tredegar Dahlgren cannon delivered to Charleston
Richmond Dispatch 9/18/1861; locomotive "J. R. Anderson" is on the new tracks connecting the RF&P and Petersburg RRs
Richmond Enquirer 9/28/1861; excellent and lengthy description of the Tredegar Iron Works - describes the manufacture of iron products and mentions the Tredegar Battalion
Richmond Enquirer 10/1/1861; excellent (and lengthy) description of the operations of the Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Dispatch 10/8/1861; Tredegar adv. for 4 good mules
Richmond Enquirer 10/17/1861; lengthy description of the Crenshaw Woolen Mills (located among the Tredegar works) - notes on Richmond's industrial capacity
Richmond Dispatch 10/18/1861; list of public schools & expenses. Includes Lancastrian School ($600) & Tredegar Free School ($250)
Richmond Dispatch 10/22/1861; Tredegar adv. for certain skilled laborers
Richmond Dispatch 10/23/1861; List of contributors to St. Charles Hosp. including $395 from J. R. Anderson & Tredegar Employees
Charleston Mercury 12/2/1861; war news - notes that Tredegar has started a wire factory
New York Herald 12/23/1861; non-specific description of harsh treatment of Union POWs in Richmond; notes that Tredegar has produced a submarine to operate against the blockade
Richmond Dispatch 12/27/1861; Tredegar Battalion to have full dress uniform drill
Richmond Dispatch 12/28/1861; Tredegar Battalion looked good on parade
Richmond Dispatch 2/13/1862; J. R. Anderson adv for blacksmiths
Richmond Dispatch 2/21/1861; great stuff on the Tredegar Battalion from R. S. Archer to city council
Richmond Dispatch

2/26/1862; Co. B, Tredegar Battalion presents English sword to Capt. Alvis. Maj. R. S. Archer makes speech.

Richmond Dispatch

3/7/1862; Tredegar-made brass piece for Cropper’s Co. on display, Capitol Square

Richmond Dispatch 3/10/1862; Wm. Carson, Tredegar operative, in trouble involving Ann Beazley & “house of ill fame” in Butchertown
Richmond Dispatch

3/10/1862; Tredegar wants to buy 100,000 feet of timber

Richmond Whig 3/10/1862; Tredegar Iron Works are looking to buy a lot of Oak and Hickory timber
Richmond Dispatch 3/15/1862; Tredegar Battalion will assemble this afternoon on Gamble’s Hill
Richmond Dispatch

3/21/1862; Tredegar advertises for 40 negroes

Richmond Dispatch 3/25/1862; J. F. Goodwin & J. E. Tanner are raising a company of flying artillery to be attached to the Tredegar Battalion
Richmond Dispatch 3/25/1862; paper advocates using the cannon that are on the street corners to be recast
Richmond Dispatch 4/3/1862; Tredegar wants to buy 50-100 young mules, hire machinists, furnace managers, colliers and blacksmiths, and hire 100-150 negroes
Richmond Whig 4/3/1862; three ads from Tredegar Iron Works - they need 150 negroes to work at blast furnaces in Botetourt county, 50-100 mules, and machinists and blacksmiths
Richmond Dispatch 4/7/1862; Tredegar Battalion parades on Capitol Square – more than 200 men. One company has 12-pdr howitzers
Richmond Dispatch 4/7/1862; Tredegar Artillery to organize
Richmond Dispatch 4/11/1862; letter from Mrs. Maria G. Clopton begging metals for Tredegar for gunboat construction. Mrs. George T. Booker on committee
Richmond Dispatch 4/11/1862; Gen. J. R. Anderson ad for male cook for field duty
Richmond Dispatch 4/12/1862; old cannon on street corners should be recycled – bell in steeple of Dr. Reed’s Church sent to the Armory to be recycled
Richmond Dispatch 4/19/1862; Tredegar Battalion to drill on Gamble’s Hill
Richmond Dispatch 4/21/1862; Ladies’ Defence Association is building its gunboat opposite Rocketts. Farrand in charge. Note from Maria Clopton on this. Tredegar involved.
Richmond Dispatch 4/23/1862; Tredegar Battalion to muster on Gamble’s Hill, full dress uniform
Richmond Dispatch 4/24/1862; Tredegar Battalion parades, 350 strong. Cannon described
Richmond Dispatch 4/24/1862; Tredegar trying to exchange “T” rails for “flat or heavy” rails
Richmond Enquirer 4/24/1862; Tredegar Battalion parades with the Armory Band in Capitol Square, and is inspected by the Governor
Richmond Dispatch 4/30/1862; Co. F, Tredegar Battn to meet at Old Market Hall
Richmond Dispatch 5/2/1862; runaway slave notice from Tredegar
Richmond Dispatch 5/3/1862; Company F, Tredegar Battalion, to meet
Richmond Dispatch 5/13/1862; runaway notices for 5 slaves from Tredegar
Richmond Dispatch 5/15/1862; mare stolen from Gen. J. R. Anderson’s stable
Richmond Dispatch 5/16/1862; report on meeting at City Hall for city defense. Tredegar Battalion key part of city defences; Mayor Mayo says he would rather die than surrender the city
Richmond Dispatch 5/19/1862; Capt. J. F. Goodwin orders Co. F, Tredegar Battalion to assemble for meeting
Richmond Dispatch 5/20/1862; inventor of Williams’ Mounted Rifle to have demonstration at Tredegar
Charleston Mercury 6/2/1862; excellent description of the Battle of Seven Pines - mentions Joseph R. Anderson and other CSA generals
Richmond Dispatch 6/26/1862; J. R. Anderson adv for oak timber for Tredegar
Richmond Dispatch 7/3/1862; Details of J. R. Anderson’s wounding
Richmond Dispatch 7/5/1862; unidentified swimmer drowns in canal beside Tredegar
Richmond Enquirer 7/5/1862; man drowns in the canal near Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Enquirer 7/7/1862; Tredegar Iron works described by Yankee reporter during the Seven Days
Richmond Dispatch 7/11/1862; J. R. Anderson adv for 15-20 laborers for Botetourt furnace
Joseph R. Anderson CSR, M331 7/14/1862; Joseph R. Anderson's letter of resignation as Brigadier General from the C. S. Army; cites the need for him at Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Examiner 7/14/1862; prisoners have been sent to Belle Isle, officers are confined in Crenshaw warehouse (within Tredegar Iron Works); account of letters sent from Libby Prison
Richmond Dispatch 7/19/1862; J. R. Anderson’s HQ at “Mill Farm;” A. P. Hill’s HQ on Charles City Road
Richmond Dispatch 7/26/1862; good description of Belle Isle; mentions that the Isle is reached by a boat starting from near Tredegar
New York Herald 7/28/1862; wonderful general description of the city of Richmond - mentions, Hollywood, Tredegar, the Almshouse, appearance of the prisons, Odd Fellows Hall, and the James River and Kanawha Canal
Richmond Dispatch 8/2/1862; Tredegar adv for 6 blacksmiths & 12 strikers
Richmond Dispatch 8/2/1862; runaway slave notice for Caroline County negro employed at Tredegar
Richmond Enquirer 8/2/1862; blacksmiths and strikers needed at the Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Dispatch 8/7/1862; reward offered for return of J. R. Anderson's (Tredegar Iron Works) stolen horse
Richmond Dispatch 8/9/1862; ad for employees at Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Dispatch 8/12/1862; Tredegar adv for man to operate freight boat on canal
Richmond Dispatch 8/21/1862; cannonball, fired from Tredegar Iron Works while proving guns, lands two 1/2 miles off
Richmond Dispatch 8/25/1862; Tredegar adv to purchase 10 or 12 mules
Richmond Dispatch 8/27/1862; notes on the status of the Tredegar Battalion towards the quota of volunteers
Richmond Dispatch 8/28/1862; Tredegar selling “several stationary engines” & also wagon axles
Richmond Dispatch 8/28/1862; Tredegar also adv for “several good boatmen”
Richmond Dispatch 9/2/1862; runaway slave notice for blacksmith hired out to Tredegar foundry
Richmond Dispatch 9/15/1862; adv from “Many Voters” urging J. R. Anderson to run for House of Delegates
Richmond Dispatch 9/16/1862; letter of J. R. Anderson, declining to run for Virginia House of Delegates
Richmond Dispatch 9/16/1862; Tredegar renting out “large rooms occupied formerly by the Car Spring Company”
Richmond Dispatch 9/22/1862; Tredegar Iron Works is hiring boatmen
Richmond Dispatch 10/27/1862; Wm. E. Tanner at Tredegar adv riding mare for sale
Richmond Dispatch 10/30/1862; freak cannon accident at the Tredegar Iron Works - the city pump-house is accidentally shot
Richmond Dispatch 11/5/1862; leak in canal above Tredegar quickly repaired.
Richmond Dispatch 11/8/1862; Mayor’s Court: J. R. Anderson slave whipped for stealing wood;  Mulatto arraigned and whipped for “impudence” to the watchman of the Spotswood Hotel; Police raid Locust Alley – several prostitutes arrested, as well as their “visitors”
Richmond Enquirer 11/8/1862; slave of J. R. Anderson convicted for stealing lumber from the Basin bank - gets fifteen lashes
Richmond Dispatch 11/10/1862; fire at Tredegar put out pretty early.
Richmond Examiner 11/10/1862; Canal boat sinks near Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Dispatch 11/11/1862; report on meeting of city citizens for shoes – J. L. Burrows, 1st Baptist Church, chairman. $4-5 thousand raised on the spot. List of committee members for various wards including Luther Libby, Wm. Greanor, Jno. R. Ballard, T. W. Hoeniger, James H. Grant, Joel B. Watkins, General J. R. Anderson & many more. One group to meet at J. R. Anderson’s home.
Richmond Dispatch 11/14/1862; new cannon cast at Tredegar (a “monster”) tested near Water Works
Richmond Dispatch 11/15/1862; J. R. Anderson offering money exchange at Tredegar
Richmond Dispatch 11/15/1862; Wm. E. Tanner, Tredegar, adv for horse for sale
Richmond Dispatch 11/21/1862; J. R. Anderson adv for file cutter
Richmond Dispatch 11/28/1862; long adv from Tredegar – want 500 negroes to work in Botetourt Co. blast furnace
Richmond Dispatch 11/29/1862; J. R. Anderson adv to purchase oak lumber for gun carriages
Richmond Dispatch 12/2/1862; Tredegar adv for a file cutter
Richmond Enquirer 12/13/1862; Joseph R. Anderson buys a farm in Goochland County for $112,000
Richmond Whig 12/29/1862; Tredegar employee murders neighbor
Richmond Whig 1/7/1863; ads for employees at Tredegar Iron Works
Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph 3/23/1863; correspondence of 5th TX soldier describing the Texas Hospital, and the benevolence of Mr. Tanner, co-proprietor of Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Sentinel 3/23/1863; fatal injuries at Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Dispatch 5/8/1863; twenty mules needed at Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Dispatch 5/16/1863; fire at Crenshaw Mills and Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Examiner 5/16/1863; fire at Crenshaw Mills and Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Sentinel 5/16/1863; fire at Crenshaw Mills and Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Whig 5/16/1863; fire at Crenshaw Mills and Tredegar Iron Works
Charleston Mercury 5/16/1863; war news - notes the fire at Tredegar and the Crenshaw Woolen Mills
Richmond Examiner 5/18/1863; Tredegar employees are retaining their jobs, despite damage to the works
Richmond Examiner 5/21/1863; ruined wall at Tredegar falls down, injuring several
Charleston Mercury 6/6/1863; news from Richmond - notes that the Tredegar Iron Works are up and running again after the fire
Richmond Examiner 7/4/1863; damaged Tredegar departments are being restored to operation; Crenshaw mills will not be rebuilt
Richmond Sentinel 8/18/1863; J. R. Anderson (Tredegar Iron Works) buys a lot of flour to sell to his workers at cost
VHS 11/3/1863

11/3/1863; J. R. Anderson requests that one of his workers who is confined in Castle Thunder be "returned to his employment." Apparently, this man attempted to desert to the enemy

Richmond Sentinel 12/17/1863; walls of the ruined Crenshaw Woolen Mills collapse. Notes that the mill site had recently been purchased by Tredegar
Richmond Whig 3/2/1864; accident at the Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Sentinel 3/3/1864; reprinted in Southern Historical Society Papers Vol. 37 (1909), pp. 198-202. Part two of account of the repulse of Dahlgren's Raid. Indicates the Tredegar Battalion was responsible for the repulse.
Richmond Sentinel 3/4/1864; correction: the Armory Battalion, not the Tredegar Battalion, were responsible for repulsing Dahlgren's raiders
Richmond Whig 4/18/1864; two workers at Tredegar arrested for fighting
Charleston Mercury 5/6/1864; war news - describes (very visually) the operations at Tredegar
Richmond Sentinel 6/13/1864; letters and goodies for the Tredegar and Departmental battalions should be left at Mr. Tanner's office (address given)
Richmond Sentinel 6/24/1864; operative at Tredegar is arrested for stealing nails
Richmond Whig 6/24/1864; Tredegar operative charged with stealing nails
New York Herald 7/4/1864; war news - notes the destruction (during Hunter's Shenandoah Valley raid) of the Virginia Military Institute and a branch of the Tredegar Iron Works at Buchanan
Richmond Sentinel 7/9/1864; five workmen at Tredegar are captured while attempting to escape to the Yankees and are put in Castle Thunder
Richmond Whig 7/9/1864; five operatives at the Tredegar Iron Works are caught while attempting to go over to the Yankees and are taken to Castle Thunder
Richmond Sentinel 8/2/1864; boy is arrested for stealing pig iron from Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Sentinel 8/3/1864; boy caught stealing pig iron from Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Whig 8/3/1864; boy caught stealing pig iron from Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Whig 8/13/1864; boy acquitted for stealing pig iron from Tredegar
New York Herald 9/19/1864; notes from an informer on the condition of Lee's Army, the Richmond defenses, feeling against Jefferson Davis, and conditions in Richmond - notes the railroads are very poor, and that 5000 blacks are employed at Tredegar

Richmond Sentinel

11/14/1864; three workers from Tredegar arrested while attempting to go over to the enemy and are put in Castle Thunder

Richmond Whig 11/14/1864; two workers at Tredegar captured while going to Yankee lines
Richmond Enquirer 11/15/1864; great description of the operation of the Ordnance Department - mentions the Arsenal at length

Richmond Sentinel

11/21/1864; Three people (one of whom was a Tredegar worker) arrested on Williamsburg road for attempting to go to the enemy. They said they were going to visit friends at Chaffin's Bluff

Richmond Sentinel 11/24/1864; small explosion at Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Whig 11/24/1864; one white man and three negroes were killed by the accidental explosion of shells at Tredegar
Richmond Sentinel 1/3/1865; member of the Tredegar Battalion, now stationed near Fort Harrison, attempts to desert to the enemy and is shot and killed
New York Herald 4/6/1865; Details on the Federal occupation of Richmond - notes that the furniture in the White House of the Confederacy was left behind, and that Tredegar survived the fire. Libby Prison and Castle Thunder are now full of Confederate prisoners
New York Herald 4/12/1865; notes the visit of President Lincoln to Richmond, the parade of the XXIV Corps through town, and efforts by local capitalists [including J. R. Anderson] to bring VA back into the Union. Losses due to fire are 2/3 the city's assessed value
Richmond Whig 4/12/1865; Tredegar Iron Works remain intact because workers helped extinguish fires
New York Herald 4/13/1865; excellent letter from Richmond describing the Federal occupation of Richmond, mentions Tredegar, former slaves, Rocketts, former rebel hospitals (Chimborazo, Jackson, Stuart) - All patients now at Jackson, Stuart Hospital is now a US Post Hospital. Dahlgren's body found and is being returned to Washington. Castle Thunder and Libby Prison are now holding Confederates. Also notes veneration of Robert E. Lee in Richmond
Richmond Whig 5/2/1865; prominent Richmonders, including Joseph R. Anderson, have taken the oath of allegiance to the U.S.
Scribner's Monthly, July 1877 7/1877; "Richmond Since the War" - good material on Tredegar Iron Works, Belle Isle, Libby Prison, Oakwood Cemetery, and Capital Square
National Tribune 11/10/1892; "Belle Isle Revisited," gives account of the author's trip to Belle Isle and notes its changes, mentions Tredegar Iron Works
Van Santvoord, Cornelius,  120th Regiment New York State Volunteers 1894; description of life on Belle Isle in 1864, including offers for employment at the Tredegar Iron Works upon taking the oath of allegiance; apparently, very few would do so
Richmond Dispatch 6/30/1894; great description of Richmond for the Confederate reunion, focusing on how much has changed since the war
Confederate Veteran, 31, pp. 448-451 Anderson, Joseph R., Jr. "Anderson's Brigade in Battles Around Richmond."


Page last updated on 07/17/2008