The War Years (1911)
Augusta Arsenal proved itself invaluable to the country during the Spanish American conflict, manufacturing large quantities of cavalry equipment, seacoast targets, etc., as well as serving as a repair and supply point.
In 1911 Col. J. Walker Benet took command. He was the son of the co-designer of the Benet-Mercer machine gun and father of poets, William Rose and Stephen Vincent Benet. During his command, the arsenal became a center for the repair of rifles and other small arms needed for World War I. Following the Armistice in 1918, only a skeleton force remained to serve field stations in the Fourth Corps Area. During this period, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) helped modernize the arsenal by paving roads and improving the buildings.
The Second World War greatly expanded military activities at the arsenal: 50 new buildings were constructed for maintenance and supply of ordnance material and fire control operations. Over a thousand people worked at the arsenal during World War II.
In 1955 the decision was made to close the arsenal, and efforts began to obtain the property for the junior college.
arsenal (with the exception of five acres kept for the U.S. Army Reserves) was
given to the Board of Education, and with little renovation, it became home to
the Junior College of Augusta in 1957.
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