February 23, 1879
Confederate brigadier general Josiah Gorgas, the father of William Crawford Gorgas, suffered a stroke, from which he never fully recovered. One of the few northern-born Confederate generals, Gorgas graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served in the U.S. Ordnance Corps. He married Amelia Gayle, the daughter of former Alabama governor John Gayle, while stationed at Mount Vernon Arsenal north of Mobile and, in 1861, became the chief of the Confederate Bureau of Ordnance. In his position, he successfully built an armaments industry capable of providing the army with munitions, despite an inferior rail system and blockaded ports. Gorgas later served as the president of the University of Alabama.