Civil War to World War II

Originally, Augustans welcomed the idea of the Civil War. The new Confederate Powderworks were the only permanent structures constructed and completed by the Confederacy. Over 2000 Augustans went away to fight in the war, but war did not set into the minds of Augustans until the summer of 1863. It was in that year that thousands of refugees from areas threatened by invasion came crowding into Augusta, leading to shortages in housing and provisions. Next came the threatening nearness of General Sherman's advancing army, causing panic in the streets of the once-quiet town. However, the city was never burned to the ground. After the War, Augusta and Georgia were both under martial law during the period known as Reconstruction. During this time, African American civil rights were expanded.[5] Following the end of Reconstruction, the European American majority population of Georgia and other Southern U.S. states enacted Jim Crow laws to limit the rights of African Americans. These restrictions would not be lifted until the Civil Rights movement of the mid-20th century. Specifically, the Richmond County School System refused to educate African American students at all. In 1899, a group of parents took their objections in a class actions suit the Supreme Court in Cumming v. Richmond County Board of Education. The court ruled that the use of state funds was not within federal purview under the Fourteenth Amendment. This ruling was overturned in Brown v. Board of Education. In 1828, the Georgia General Assembly granted a formal charter for the Medical Academy of Georgia, and the schoo began training physicians in two borrowed rooms of the City Hospital. By 1873, an affiliation was made with the University of Georgia, and the school became the Medical Department of the University. The school would become the Medical College of Georgia in 1956. In 1914, University Hospital was founded near the Medical College, forming the anchor of a heavily developed medical sector in the city. Child worker at Globe Cotton Mill in Augusta, 1909, by Lewis W. Hine Unlike most Southern cities, Postbellum life for Augusta was very prosperous. By the beginning of the 20th century, Augusta had become one of the largest inland cotton markets in the world. A new military cantonment, named Camp Hancock, opened nearby during World War I. In 1916 a large fire destroyed over 700 buildings in the city including many of its finest residences.[6] In 1927, Owen Robertson Cheatham founded the lumber company Georgia Pacific in Augusta, before it moved to Portland, Oregon, and later to Atlanta.[7] Prior to World War II, the U.S. Army constructed a new fort in Richmond County, Camp Gordon, which was finished a few days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Many new soldiers were brought to this camp to train to go off to war. Within the few months after WWII, many of the GIs at Camp Gordon had been sent back home, and the importance of the army in the community seemed to almost come to an end. Music legend James Brown, then a teenager, often performed for the soldiers. Brown grew up in Augusta during the 1930s and 1940s (he lived with his aunt, who was the madam of a house of prostitution).

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Updated in February 2013