Jefferson, Texas: Feb. 10, 1866. Manuscript document. Single sheet of lined paper, folded to 31 cm., 2 pp., approx. 160 words. Docketed on verso of blank integral leaf. Very good, legible. The bill of sale records that H.B. Hawkins, in his capacity as Special Agent, U.S. Treasury Department, sold to C.L. Pitcher the "Foundry building & out houses & rails, consisting of the Ordnance building 130 ft. by 50 ft., Frame do. 8 Rooms Kitchen 2 rooms and stable and lumber attached except Officers Quarters... for the sum of $1300." Bill of sale acknowledged by the Notary Public of Marion County, John T. Moseley on March 17, 1866, and certified as a true copy by J.C. Todd, Clerk of Marion County on Aug. 3, 1867. His blind stamped seal (partial) and part of a revenue stamp in margin. Item #66827
A brief history of the Jefferson Ordnance Magazine appears in an article by Skip Torrans the Historic Jefferson Foundation's publication "Jeffersonian" in the Fall/Winter 2013-14 issue, Vol. XXXII, No. 2, pp. 5 & 17. The Civil War era Magazine was built in 1863 to protect and store gunpowder. Jefferson, Texas was an important riverport during the war, supplying munitions, horses, cattle, and men to the war effort. The Texas Historical Society notes that this building was directly associated with the Trans-Mississippi Department of the Confederate States of American until it was taken over on April 14, 1865 by Federal troops. The property, confiscated by the U.S. Government after the Civil War, was sold to Pitcher by the U.S. Treasury Department as noted in this bill of sale. Shortly thereafter, on March 16, 1866, Pitcher sold it to Samuel F. Moseley who owned it until 1878. Thereafter it passed through many hands before becoming the property of the Historic Jefferson Foundation. The Ordnance Magazine is "believed to be one of only three still in existence in the eleven Confederate States."
In 1869, Charles L. Pitcher was arrested on suspicion of participating in the October 1868 murder of the Hon. George W. Smith, the Marion County delegate to the constitutional convention. Smith was killed along with two freedmen, and a third freedman was wounded by a group of men calling themselves the Knights of the Rising Sun. Gen. Reynolds, commanding the Fifth Military District during the Reconstruction era in Texas, reported that about 35 men were arrested in connection with the murders. Three men were later convicted of Smith's murder and three others, including Pitcher were convicted of threatening the life of Judge Colbert Caldwell. Pitcher was later pardoned by Gen. Grant. [see: Message of the President of the United States, Communicating, in Compliance with the Resolution of the Senate of the 16 of December, 1870, information in relation to outrages committed by disloyal persons in North Carolina and other Southern States, Senate Ex. Doc. No. 16 (GPO: 1871), p.21; and the Handbook of Texas online regarding what became known as the Stockade Case].