US Army Quartermaster Depot - Jeffersonville, IN
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 38° 16.948 W 085° 44.397
16S E 610205 N 4237906
Quick Description: Established as a Civil War Supply Depot, during WWI this facility became the World's Largest Shirt Factory (making 700K shirts/month) and also churned out 500 sets of horse-drawn ambulance harnesses a week
Location: Indiana, United States
Date Posted: 2/25/2022 6:42:59 AM
Waymark Code: WM15TNX
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 5

Long Description:
It's hard to miss the old Jeffersonville US Army Quartermaster's Depot (JQMD)-- this thing is HUGE!! A vital cog in the Army wheel for almost 100 years, the JQMD closed in 1958, was purchased by the City of Jeffersonville in 1993, renovated and redeveloped in 2006, and in 2022 is a hub of Jefferson City Hall, private business, shopping, dining, and entertainment uses.

The JQMD started in the 1860s as a convenient supply depot for Union Forces during the Civil War. With excellent rail networks in the area already, and reliable Ohio River river access, the JQMD could move large amounts of men and equipment very efficiently.

As the Civil War dragged on, the JQMD expanded in size and importance adding a hardtack factory (a staple in every Civil War soldier's diet), a uniform factory (which cut cloth, then sent the pieces out to women in private homes to sew together and return), as well as shops to make saddles, harnesses, vehicles (wagons), stationery, tarpaulins, tools and portable camp stoves for the Army.

After the war ended, the JQMD was the only depot to not be disbanded. The Army heavily relied upon the JQMD in subsequent wars for its equipment needs, even as times and technology changed.

During WWI, the JQMD manufactures and shipped out saddles, harnesses, many kinds of horse-drawn vehicles (except artillery), horse-drawn ambulance harnesses, motor vehicle parts, uniforms, tents -- tens of thousands of items the Army needed for its troops in the field. Source: (visit link)

"Jeffersonville Quartermaster Intermediate Depot; History and Functions
By Lieut. Colonel C. S. HAMILTON, Q. M. C.
The Quartermaster Review – July-August 1927

[heavily excerpted by BMB]

During 1898, approximately 100,000 garments a month were manufactured at the Depot through its home sewing operatives. Similarly as during the Civil War period, these garments were cut out by hand at the Depot and sent out to homes to be finished. . . .
. . .
At the close of the Spanish-American War, a harness shop . . .for the repair and reclamation of harness turned in by the organizations mustered out of service. By the time this reclamation was completed, additional mechanics had been added and its energies devoted to the manufacture of handsewn ambulance harness for the Army.
. . .
Mexican Border Activities (AKA the Punitive Expeditions against Pancho Villa in 1916-17- BMB)

At the time of the Mexican Border difficulties, in 1916, five posts were assigned to the Jeffersonville Depot for supply.
. . .
The harness shop, which at this time was manufacturing, repairing and altering aparejos, harness and leather equipment, was especially valuable . . .
. . .
Various types of rolling kitchens were tested at the shops during this period and also given practical tests on the Mexican Border, and the improved kitchens, provided as the result of these tests, came later into extensive use."

Production only increased with the onset of WWI:

" Profitable employment was furnished to many women operatives in Jeffersonville and vicinity. In February, 1917, the shirt department was enlarged. Electric cutting knives were installed and three shifts of cutters employed and the production increased ninety per cent. . .

Reclamation activities included a Base Shoe Repair Shop, employing 194 people which, on August 3l, 1918, had an output of 800 pairs of shoes per day, and increased in February, 1919, to a daily average of 21,192 pairs; also a paulin (AKA tarpaulins) Treatment and Repair Plant, with 65 employees. In this plant, between May 1 and De­cember 15, 1918, 11,395 paulins were treated, repaired and made ready for issue.
. . .
World’s Largest Shirt Factory

In the Clothing and Manufacturing Branch, the home operatives were increased from approximately 2,000 to 20,000, and the output of garments brought up from 600,000 to 8,500,000 per year. At the time of the Armistice, the monthly output of shirts reached its zenith, being between 600,000 and 700,000, and the Jeffersonville Depot became known as the world’s largest shirt factory.

Uniforms were manufactured at the Depot, the output being 750 service coats and 1,000 pairs of breeches per day. . . .

Large Harness Factory

The Harness Shop, at the beginning of the World War, employed about 35 men and turned out approximately 100 sets of ambulance harness weekly. By the spring of 1918, this force was increased to 100 men and the production to 500 sets of ambulance harness, or its equivalent, weekly. Besides the harness, aparejos, water bags, paulins and wagon covers were also manufactured."
Type of Historic Site: Military Quartermaster Depot

Address of Building, Object, or Site:
10th and Mechanic Streets
Jeffersonville, IN USA


Website: [Web Link]

Admission Prices: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

One a Scale from 1-5, How Vital was the Site in WWI?:

Posted Coordinates Location:
Coordinates are taken at the cornerstone of the QMD at 10th and Mechanic Streets, at what used to be a main entry point to the Depot


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Benchmark Blasterz visited US Army Quartermaster Depot - Jeffersonville, IN 2/28/2022 Benchmark Blasterz visited it