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Endor Iron Works Ledger, 1864-1868


Endor Iron Works Ledger, 1864-1868


The Endor Iron Works Ledger kept track of both the expenses and sales of the Endor Iron Works under the Downer Group from February 27, 1864, through September 22, 1864. When the furnace was purchased by the Lockville Mining and Manufacturing Company in 1865, it also served as a ledger as well as an inventory book. This ledger recorded the business of the Endor Iron Works during the later years of the Civil War as the furnace continued to produce pig iron for the dwindling Confederate forces. This ledger also chronicled the final months of the company before it ceased operations at the furnace.

The Endor Iron Company was founded by brothers John and Donald McRae and W. R. Dix, who emigrated from Wilmington to take advantage of the Confederate war machine’s rising need for industrial might. They constructed a large blast furnace at Endor, near modern day Sanford North Carolina, which would become the most famous of the Civil War furnaces in the state. The site was located up river from a mine where the ore came from. It was chosen due to the availability of brownstone nearby as a building material. The adjacent Deep River also made the location favorable, as the river emptied into the Cape Fear River making it easy to ship iron to Wilmington. Endor Iron Works also made use of the nearby railways as a method for transporting their iron across the state. The Endor furnace produced pig iron for the confederate arsenal at Fayetteville, pig iron being an intermediately smelted, lower quality iron which the company sold at fifty cents per pound. Although originally overshadowed by the larger iron industry in neighboring Virginia, Endor’s iron as well as all North Carolina iron became more important as the war raged on and trade and infrastructure in Virginia was damaged or destroyed.

The inclusion of this ledger draws attention to an area of North Carolina’s Civil War heritage that has received little attention from scholars and is subsequently under-represented in the historiography of this state.


Endor Iron Works


Endor Iron Works Ledger, 2279-z, The Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.




Boyer, Steven




Chatham County
Lee County
Deep River Valley
North Carolina

Original Format

Account Book


4/11, Payroll: $426.00, Expenses: $2986.93, Sales: 10036 lbs. pig iron at $.50/lb ($5018.00)
4/30, Payroll: $967.35, Expenses: $4793.37
5/11, Payroll: $546.67, Expenses: $225.00, Sales: 43598 lbs ($21,799.00)
5/17, Payroll: $1357.11, Expenses: $3369.55
5/23, Expenses: $8384.91
5/30, Payroll: $556.50, Expenses: $10584.12
6/6, Payroll: $7755.53, Expenses: $4516.08
6/9, Expenses: $834.50
6/20, Payroll: $12345.69, Expenses: $3114.00
7/1, Payroll: $585.30, Expenses: $5126.24
7/2, Payroll: $6409.68, Expenses: $244.80
7/8, Payroll: $246.66, Expenses: $334.21, Sales: 24000 lbs and 12000 lbs scrap at $.40/lb ($16800.00)
7/9, Payroll: $3799.37, Expenses: $19146.25
7/30, Payroll: $3922.16, Expenses: $3691.74
8/25, Payroll: $2205.75, Expenses: $11019.29
9/22, Expenses: $170.00


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Endor Iron Works, Endor Iron Works Ledger, 1864-1868, Civil War Era NC, accessed May 26, 2024,