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Brierfield Ironworks Historical State Park
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member OHail
N 33° 02.579 W 086° 57.260
16S E 504263 N 3656052
Quick Description: Site of the principal iron producer for the Confederate foundry at Selma where naval guns and ironclads were made. Just the base of a furnace remains. It is under cover and fenced off from the public but within view of informational signs.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 3/12/2012 6:22:02 PM
Waymark Code: WMDZ7Y
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member LSUMonica
Views: 3

Long Description:
The Brierfield furnace supplied iron to local farmers who needed the iron for farm implements but soon began supplying iron to the Confederate government. The iron was a perfect quality for use in casting heavy cannons. The Confederate government attempted to contract for 100% of the ironworks’ output, but the owners declined. This led to the Confederacy pressuring a sale of the Bibb County Iron Company to the Confederacy for $600,000 in 1863. Included in the deal were nine slaves, seventy mules, forty-one oxen, twenty carts, twenty wheelbarrows and two hundred axes. It was renamed the Bibb Naval Furnace.

The Bibb works supplied iron for the Confederate arsenal at Selma during through the summer and fall of 1864 and the winter of 1865. It was used to cast heavy Brooke cannon and plating for Confederate ironclads.

The Brierfield Ironworks operated on a large scale until March 31, 1865, when Major General James H. Wilson targeted it as part of his raid through Alabama and Georgia. Colonel Frederick Benteen was sent with the 10th Missouri Cavalry to demolish the operation at Brierfield.

After the war, former Confederate Chief of Ordnance Josiah Gorgas operated the furnaces for a time. There were a few other owner/operators of Brierfield before the furnace blew out on December 24, 1894. That combined with the invention of the wire nail, ended production of iron at Brierfield.
Type of site: Factory

240 Furnace Parkway
Brierfield, AL USA

Phone Number: 205-665-1856

Admission Charged: $5 or less

Website: [Web Link]

Driving Directions:
From I-65 exit at Calera/Highway 25; take Highway 25 south to park entrance on County Road 62, approximately 15 miles.

Visit Instructions:
Post at least one photo of a Civil War related item or scene and post one Civil War Discovery you learned while visiting the waymark. The photo should have the coordinates of where it was taken if significantly different from the waymark's coordinates.
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