The only new agency created by the legislature to deal with wartime emergencies. Original members were the Governor, Comptroller and Treasurer. The last two in 1864 were replaced by appointees of the Governor.
Purpose was to establish industry and purchase essential military and civilian supplies. Texas was largely dependent on imports for factory goods, so the board had to sustain foreign trade. Despite a federal coastal blockade, this was done through neutral Mexico and by use of swift blockade runners.
The board sold and exchanged state bonds, U.S. indemnity bonds and cotton - which had a ready cash and exchange value abroad - for guns, power, copper, lead, hats, hoots, shoes, clothing, cloth, rope, blankets, cotton cards and machinery to start local industry. Agents of the board operated in Mexico and Europe.
A percussion cap factory and a state foundry for cannon were built, by contracts, land grants and cash. Private enterprise was aided and encouraged to manufacture rifles, pistols and gunpowder.
Lack of funds, poor transportation, competition for cotton and other wartime difficulties hampered effectiveness, but the board did much to make Texas "The storehouse of the Confederacy".