Augusta powder works at Historical Society Monday

Published 2:18 pm Friday, March 6, 2009

The historical significance of the confederate powder works in Augusta, Ga., during the Civil War will be discussed by Dr. C.L. Bragg of Thomasville at the Monday meeting of the Decatur County Historical Society.

The meeting begins with a social half hour at 6:30 p.m. at the Bainbridge Country Club. Anyone may attend the meeting, but reservations must be made by calling 246-8803 by noon Monday.

Bragg co-authored the book, “Never For Want of Powder,” with Charles D. Ross, Gordon A. Blaker, Stephanie A.T. Jacobe and Theodore P. Savas.

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At the start of the war, it was discovered that if the South were to conduct a successful war, it needed its own supply of gunpowder. President Jefferson Davis commissioned George Washington Rains of Augusta to build a powder works, arsenal and government foundry.

Col. Rains was an 1842 West Point graduate, a native of North Carolina who designed an industrial works that was a model of efficiency and safety. He chose Augusta to locate the powder works because of its central location, access to water power, canal transportation, rail facilities and security from attack.

What was once a large munitions installation of Norman-style architecture buildings similar to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., today only a large tall obelisk or chimney remains along the Savannah River.

The book contains 75 detailed reproductions of the architectural and mechanical schematic drawings of the powder works. Bragg has written several chapters for this book, and he will discuss the powder works with a powerpoint presentation.

Bragg completed his residency in anesthesiology at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. He is the author of “Distinction in Every Service, Brigadier General Marcellus A. Stovall CSA.”