The Ames Manufacturing Company of Chicopee, Massachusetts
The three articles that comprise this book tell different stories about the Ames Manufacturing Company of Chicopee, Massachusetts, which played an important role as an arms manufacturer during the American Civil War. Together, they make up a kind of composite of the Northern Civil War experience in the small, but dynamic, universe of a factory town. We meet Nathan P. Ames and James T. Ames, brothers who founded the firm, the younger burdened with the responsibility to continue the company after the tragic and grisly death of the older brother. We meet two workers in the factory, one of whom, Charles Tracy, was a machinist who left his position to join the army, and came home without a leg—and was awarded the Medal of Honor. He was cared for by Clara Barton, and comforted by President Abraham Lincoln in the hospital ward. The other man, Melzar Mosman, just a boy of nineteen, worked in the foundry department of the factory, forging canon. He also left to join the army, but after the war would become celebrated for forging bronze statuary, including a number of Civil War monuments.