The Augusta Arsenal

The Augusta Arsenal (HMO47)

Location: Augusta, GA 30904 Richmond County
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Country: United States of America
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N 33° 28.59', W 82° 1.497'

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A "great arsenal of construction..."

On January 24, 1861 five days afterGeorgia's secession from the Union,Governor Joseph E. Brown acceptedthe surrender of the United States Arsenal atAugusta from Captain Arnold Elzey. {Pictureincluded} Brown rejected Elzey's request that his troops be allowed to take their arms,they having " brought none with them." Thus Georgia acquired 27,000 muskets andrifles, two cannon, and two twelve-poundhowitzers. The Augusta Chronicle reported the departing Federals "fired a national salute of 33 guns, lowered the stars and stripes from the flag-staff, and formallygave up the position. The independent flagof the Republic of Georgia was hoisted in itsstead, and the affair was over." As 82 Federaltroops marched out, a detachment of the sixhundred man Augusta Independent Battalionvolunteer militia took command. The Augusta Arsenal would play a major role in supplyingthe Confederates, becoming the lower South'sarsenal most responsible for the productionand repair of field artillery during the war.
?By mid-1861, Confederate Chief of OrdnanceJosiah Gorgas began making the Augusta sitea "great arsenal of construction where ammunition, field and siege artillery projectilesand ordnance stores in general [would] be madein large quantities." The first Confederatecommandant, Captain W.G. Gill, oversawconstruction of a massive brick building onthe eastern boundary of the arsenal. It housed a [words covered by framework](right side text) department of fieldartillery. By the end of the war a portion of italso served as a hospital. The constructionof many other new buildings occured afterLieutenant Colonel George Washington Rainstook command in April 1862.
?Rains's employees included a chemist, a masterarmorer, and many artisans. The significanceof the work in the arsenal made the male workers draft-exempt. However, they did form as a homedefense unit to protect the facility in case of attack. Other workers included blacks, woman and even children, who made cartidges andthe bags to carry them.
{Picture included: Review of the Clinch Rifleson the parade ground of the Augusta Arsenal,February 1861}
From 1863 through 1865 the arsenal manufactured large quantities of war material from 73,521 horseshoes to 4,622,000 leadballs; from 10,575 powder boxes to 10,760,000cartridges for small arms; from 2,445 saddlesto 1,000,000 percussion caps. Field artilleryand equipment for both infantry and cavalrypoured from the Augusta Arsenal to Confederate soldiers on battlefieldsthroughout the South, particularly for thosedefending Georgia.
?Union Major General William T. Sherman'sarmy threatened Augusta during its "Marchto the Sea" in late November 1864. Preparations were made to move muchequipment to safety, until the Federal army turned toward Savannah. The war endedfor Augusta on May 3, 1865, when Federal troops entered the city. Captain W.H. Warren, acting for Col. Rains, surrendered the arsenal to Union Major General EmoryUpton. Once again the stars and stripes(words covered by framework)[for the United States Arsenal](Pictures included)
Flag of the "Republic of Georgia"William H. T. Walker,participant in the January 24, 1861, seizure, later became a ConfederateMajor General killed during the July 22, 1864 Battle of Atlanta, and buried inhis family's cemetery at the AugustaArsenal.Map of Augusta Arsenal(Pictures courtesy of Augusta Museum of History)
HM NumberHMO47
Placed ByGeorgia Civil War Heritage Trails
Marker Condition
10 out of 10 (1 reports)
Date Added Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 7:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 404769 N 3704583
Decimal Degrees33.47650000, -82.02495000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 33° 28.59', W 82° 1.497'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds33° 28' 35.40" N, 82° 1' 29.82" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)706
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 27 Walker St, Augusta GA 30904, US
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Apr 24, 2018 at 8:31am PDT by tavitha

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