Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Civil War Macon: The History of a Confederate City

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Civil War Macon: The History of a Confederate City

Article excerpt

Civil War Macon: The History of a Confederate City. By Richard W. Iobst. (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, c. 1999. Pp. xiv, 462. $35.00, ISBN 0-86554-634-7.)

The state of Georgia provided its share of troops for the Confederate war effort, but perhaps more important was its industrial production. Nowhere was this contribution more evident than the city of Macon, located in Bibb County at the head of the Ocmulgee River, the largest city in Georgia in 1860. In Civil War Macon, Richard Iobst recounts the experiences of this middle Georgia city from 1860 to 1865. He describes in great detail, for example, the support that secession received in Macon and the celebrations that erupted when the state left the Union in January 1861. The author also traces the activities of local militias as war loomed, demonstrating that Macon was prepared should hostilities break out. There were five organized militia companies in the city when Abraham Lincoln was elected president, The oldest, the Macon Volunteers, was organized in 1825. Two additional companies formed during the antebellum years, the Bibb County Cavalry in 1834 and the Floyd Rifles in 1841. The last two companies, the Jackson Artillery and the Macon Guards, were created as sectional tensions increased in 1859.

The number of men Macon supplied to the Confederate armies demonstrated the city's patriotic sentiment, but three ordnance facilities made up Macon's most important contribution to the Confederate cause. The Macon Arsenal, commanded by Colonel Richard M. Cuyler, began operations on May 10, 1862. …

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