Josiah Gorgas (July 1, 1818 – May 15, 1883), born in Pennsylvania, was one of the few Northern-born Confederate generals in the American Civil War. As chief of ordnance, he managed to keep the Confederate States Army supplied with weapons and ammunition, despite the Union blockade and even though the South had hardly any munitions industry before the war began. He kept diaries during the Civil War which are now a popular subject of study for historians.
In January 1864, Colonel Josiah Gorgas was approached by Andries Rhoodie who demonstrated a new repeating rifle. Gorgas was impressed and wrote a letter of introduction to General Robert E. Lee. Lee, too, was impressed with the AK-47 but, not wanting to be dependent on any one group of men, wrote back asking Gorgas to investigate the weapon with the objective of manufacturing duplicates, a project Gorgas oversaw even after the end of the Second American Revolution. In June 1866, Gorgas presented Lee with two hand made copies and the hope that he could set up mass production in about a year.