Most Friendly Relations – The Seizure of the United States Arsenal at Augusta

Right after the December twenty, 1860 secession of South Carolina, other Southern states speedily adopted. Adjacent to the Palmetto Condition, delegates from Ga achieved in its cash of Milledgeville, and voted to go away the Union on January 19, 1861. Ga Governor Joseph E. Brown instantly took steps to safe the borders of the point out, together with all armed forces installations in Georgia. On or about January 22nd, Brown arrived in Augusta to safe management of the United States Arsenal, recognised as the “Augusta Arsenal.” Regardless of a persistent drizzle, the Governor’s arrival prompted various speeches and navy parades, a single of which he enthusiastically reviewed as the state’s “Commander-in-Chief.” But Brown’s verbal demand for the Arsenal’s surrender on the 23rd was achieved with a curt refusal by its commander, United States Captain Arnold Elzey. Brown consequently referred to as on Augusta’s militia organizations acknowledged collectively as the “Augusta Independent Volunteer Battalion,” plus many others organizations in route to Augusta, to put together for an assault the next day.

Largely ceremonial in nature considering the fact that its initial inception in 1850, the Augusta Battalion, beneath the command of Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Cumming, experienced taken a much more major tone in the months since Abraham Lincoln’s election as U.S. President. Totaling approximately 600 adult men, the Oglethorpe Infantry, Washington Artillery, Clinch Rifles, Irish Volunteers, Montgomery Guards and Richmond Hussars dwarfed the eighty two-gentleman Arsenal garrison. In addition, the Piney Woods Rangers, and organizations from Greene and Burke Counties, plus the Edgefield (South Carolina) District, rallied powering the Augustans. A overall of some 800 militiamen well prepared in a celebratory trend for their assault on the Arsenal in the early early morning of January twenty fourth. They have been upset that working day at 9:00 AM when officers dismissed them from their ranks… a negotiated settlement had been reached.

Realizing the hopelessness of his problem, Captain Elzey requested for honorable conditions of surrender. Following getting denied permission to carry-out the Arsenal’s sizable quantity of weapons, Elzey was permitted to maintain a formal ceremony prior to the garrison’s protected passage to New York by way of Savannah. A 33-gun salute (a single for every single state in the old Union) was fired at three:00 PM, with the Stars and Stripes lowered after the thirty second shot. By four:30 PM a white banner with a red star in its middle was lifted above the Arsenal, signifying its possession by the “Impartial Republic of Georgia.” This flag is now shown at the Augusta-Richmond County Museum. With the Arsenal’s possession came two 12-pound howitzers, two cannon, 27,000+ muskets and rifles as well as a range of other ordinance. Manufacturing of supplemental armaments, alongside with the captured weapons, proved a must have in direction of the equipping of Confederate volunteers through the Augusta area.

Following the surrender phrases experienced been agreed upon, Captain Elzey, who would himself resign his U.S.
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Military commission in April 1861, and eventually rise to the rank of Important Standard in the Accomplice Army, was understandably downcast. Fellow West Issue graduate and indigenous Augustan Colonel William H. T. Walker tried using to reassure Elzey he experienced carried out all he could in defense of the Arsenal. In appreciation, Elzey embraced his extended-time buddy and soon toasts were shared by other officers, officials and guys in the ranks on each sides. A normal ambiance of hope for peace and brotherhood was explained by the Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel as “most helpful relations.”

Steven W. Longcrier is the founder and Government Director of Civil War Heritage Trails, a heritage tourism firm generating, advertising and marketing and retaining various Civil War era historic driving trails through Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Its reason is educating the touring public and advertising and marketing Civil War era record in all a few states. By the installation of thousands of new interpretive markers and roadway directional symptoms to hyperlink the historic web-sites and routes used by each civilians and opposing armies during the American Civil War.

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