Heritage Park
Statues and exhibits help
bring the past to life at
Heritage Park, located in the
Columbus Historic District.
C.S.S. Jackson
The wreck of the Confederate
ironclade
C.S.S. Jackson is
on display at the National
Civil War Naval Museum.
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Columbus, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Columbus, Georgia
Columbus, Georgia - Historic City on the Chattahoochee River
Columbus, Georgia
A stunning fountain graces one of the many
entrances to the Columbus Riverwalk, a spectacular
natural and historical area that links many attractions
in the Georgia city.
A Rich and Significant History
Founded in 1828, the city of Columbus has
been at the forefront of U.S. and Georgia
history for more than 180 years.

The city took its life from the Chattahoochee
River. Located at the head of navigation,
where the falls of the river provided a ready
source for power, Columbus emerged as a
major port and industrial city during the
decades leading up to the Civil War.

At the time of its founding, Columbus was
located across the river from the Creek
Nation and became a hotbed for speculators
hoping to profit from the forced removal of the
Indians to what is now Oklahoma. President
Andrew Jackson sent Francis Scott Key,
composer of the National Anthem, to look
into allegations of fraud, but it was too little
too late.

The Yuchi branch of the Creek Nation went to
war against the whites in 1836. Columbus
served as the command post for military
operations against the Creeks and was the
headquarters of Major General Winfield T.
Scott.

Twenty-five years later Columbus emerged
as an important industrial center for the
Confederate military. Factories in the city
were converted for the manufacture of arms.
The workers of Columbus produced material
ranging from swords and uniforms to
engines for Confederate warships.

The massive ironclad
C.S.S. Jackson was
nearing completion at Columbus when
Union troops attacked the city on April 16,
1865. With a few more weeks of time to work,
the Confederates would have sent her down
river with the gunboat
C.S.S. Chattahoochee
and torpedo boat
Viper to break the Union
blockade of Apalachicola, Florida.

In a vicious night fight remembered as the
Battle of Columbus, Federal troops captured
the city and the
Jackson. The battle was the
last major engagement of the Civil War.

The
Jackson, burned to the waterline by
Union soldiers
, was cast adrift on the
Chattahoochee where she sank into the mud
on the river bottom. Raised in 1961, the
500,000 pound wreck is now on display at
the
National Civil War Naval Museum on the
Columbus riverfront. Also on display is the
wreck of the
C.S.S. Chattahoochee and a
wide array of other artifacts and exhibits,
including life-sized reconstructions of Civil
War ships.

With the war at an end, Columbus continued
its emergence as a major industrial and
commercial center. Paddlewheel riverboats
carried commerce up and down the river
between Columbus and Apalachicola,
Florida, while railroad connections carried
textile and other products to destinations
around the country.

Heritage Corner, a project of the Historic
Columbus Foundation, and located at 7th
Street and Broadway provides a unique
glimpse back through time at the architecture
of the city as it grew during the 19th century.
Guided tours are offered Wednesdays
through Saturdays at 2 p.m. daily. The cost is
$5 for adults and $1 for students.
In 1918, Columbus became the home to Fort
Benning (originally called Camp Benning), a
major U.S. Army post. Thousands of soldiers
have trained at the fort during its 90 year
history. It is the home of the United States
Army Infantry School as well as the army's
airborne or parachuting school. Fort Benning
is named for General Henry "The Rock"
Benning, a Confederate hero who is buried
at
Linwood Cemetery in Columbus.

Columbus also holds the distinction of being
the first American city to hold Memorial Day
observances. The holiday grew from an effort
by the women of Columbus to honor those
who gave their lives in the Southern army.

Another unique distinction of the city is that it
was the home of Dr. John S. Pemberton, the
inventor of Coca-Cola.
Two of his former
homes are preserved in the city.

The Columbus textile industry has long since
faded and the city is now a major center for
the banking and insurance industries.

The city offers a wide array of historic sites
and heritage attractions including the River
Walk, Heritage Park, the Columbus Historic
District, the Columbus Museum, the
National
Civil War Naval Museum and is also home to
the National Infantry Museum.

Please click here for more about Columbus,
Georgia.
Site of the Last Major Battle
The last major battle of the
Civil War was fought at
Columbus on April 16, 1865,
an Easter Sunday.
Heritage Corner
The home of Coca-Cola
inventor Dr. John Pemberton
is on display at Heritage
Corner in Columbus, Georgia.
Springer Opera House
The beautiful old Springer is
said to be haunted by the
ghost of actor Edwin Booth,
among others!
Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
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