More on the Augusta
The photograph (left)
is an aerial view of the Arsenal taken in 1931. The buildings in the
quadrangle (visible in center) were all removed from the Arsenal's original
riverside location, transported and rebuilt on this hilltop site under
a contract with Mr. Greene Marshall.
They were completed and in use by 1828.
This move was supervised by the first commander
of the Arsenal, Major M. M. Payne.
Today the oldest standing building on the site
is this small Sand Hills cottage (shown
below). Built by Freeman
Walker, a prominent local citizen who migrated from Virginia,
Bellevue retains its original name. It probably dates to circa
1818-1820 when Walker's family used it as a refuge from the city's summer.
The practice of well-to-do Augustans seeking relief from the summer's
oppressive heat and humidity in country residences located on the sandy
hills to the west of the city gave this area its name:
Summerville. In 1826, Walker sold
the 70 plus acre "Bellevue tract" to the United States government
as a new site for the Arsenal. He was paid $6000 for the property.
Walker passed away the following year and is buried in the family cemetery
on the property, still in use today.
is a recent picture of the building which served as the commandant's quarters
for the Arsenal. Today it is known as Benet House, after Col.
J. Walker Benet, father of the famous American poet, who commanded
the Augusta Arsenal in the years before and during WWI.
is the former junior officers' quarters for the post. It is now
known as Rains Hall, named for George Washington
Rains who was primarily responsible for the success of the Confederate
munitions and military supply production at the Arsenal and for the
construction of the Confederate Powder
Works at Augusta.
The building (above)
was constructed in 1860 as a stable for the post. This early 20th
century photograph also shows the Arsenal's steam powered pumper fire
engine. Today it is known as the Chateau.
The men pictured
below) are among those who worked at the
facility early in the last century.
Considerations of the garrison's and worker's
health played an important part in the decision to move the Augusta
Arsenal from the riverside site to the Summerville neighborhood in the
1820s and continued to be a concern throughout the 19th century. The
post hospital (pictured below)
was constructed in 1894.
Sgt. Orlin K. Fletcher
Sergeant Orlin K. Fletcher
of the U. S. Army Hospital Corps was assigned to the post early in 1904.
When smallpox broke out in the local area in October of that year, Sgt.
Fletcher played a major role in protecting the post by vaccinating the
31 U. S. military personnel and the 75 civilian workers and their families.
He also treated the cases that did occur and performed his duties in
such an exemplary manner as to be commended by Lieutenant
Colonel D. A. Lyle, the post commander at that time and inventor
of the Lyle gun, an innovation in sea rescue.
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