ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Milledgeville, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Milledgeville, Georgia
Old Capitol in Milledgeville, Georgia
Milledgeville was the capital city of Georgia for more
than 60 years. It was here that delegates voted for
Georgia to secede from the Union.
Milledgeville, Georgia
The downtown area is filled
with charming shops and
restaurants, all shaded by
beautiful trees.
Old Governor's Mansion
A magnificent example of
Greek Revival architecture,
the old Governor's Mansion is
now a museum.
Traces of Sherman's March
The roof was blown off St.
Paul's Episcopal Church
during the March to the Sea.
Milledgeville, Georgia - Historic Sites & Points of Interest
Georgia's Historic Old Capital City
Oliver Hardy in Milledgeville
The Georgia actor, famed for
his part in the duo of Laurel
and Hardy, got his start in
Copyright 2012 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Update: July 14, 2012
Founded in 1803 as a designed and centrally
located city in the rapidly growing State of
Georgia, Milledgeville is one of the most
historic cities in the South.

Beautifully preserved today, the landscape of
Milledgeville is dotted with historic treasures.
Even the streets reflect the dream of the city's
founders to create a designed community
that would serve as the permanent capital of
Georgia. Traces of both Washington, D.C.
and Savannah can be seen in the layout of
the streets and original squares.

Milledgeville was less than two years old on
December 11, 1804, when it was designated
the capital of Georgia. The state legislature
approved $60,000 for the building of a new
capitol building and work started almost

Three years later, in 1807, soldiers escorted
a wagon train that brought the state archives
and treasury from the old capitol in Louisville.
The new capitol was not yet finished, but was
ready for use.

The Marquis de Lafayette, hero of the
American Revolution, visited Milledgeville in
1825 and a monument near the capitol
serves as a reminder of the occasion.

By the end of the 1830s, the capitol building
had taken on its magnificent Gothic revival
design. Two wings were added, along with
the elements that made it the first public
building of the Gothic revival style in the
United States. The nearby Governor's
Mansion was built during the same decade
and is today considered one of the finest
examples of Greek revival architecture in the
United States.

As the capital city of Georgia, Milledgeville
hosted the state's secession convention in
January of 1861. It was in the old capitol
building that former U.S. Representative and
future Confederate Vice President Alexander
Stephens warned his fellow delegates of the
dangerous road they were following:

...When we and our posterity shall see our
lovely South desolated by the demon of war
which this act of yours will inevitably invite
and call forth; when our green fields of waving
harvests shall be trodden down by the
murderous soldiery and fiery car of war
sweeping over our land; our temples of
justice laid in ashes; all the horrors and
desolations of war upon us - who but this
Convention shall be held responsible for it?
           -Alexander Stephens
           - January 17, 1861

Stephens' words were prophetic, as Union
soldiers led by General William Tecumseh
Sherman occupied Milledgeville during the
March to the Sea. State officials fled the city
as the troops approached and Confederate
soldiers withdrew without a fight to avoid
injury to the citizens.
Houses, stores and barns were looted by
Sherman's troops, who rampaged through
the city "foraging." The capitol building was
occupied and a group of soldiers led by
Brigadier General Judson H. Kilpatrick held a
mock legislative session and "repealed"
Georgia's ordinance of secession before
looting the building and inflicting thousands
of dollars in damage. The roof of nearby
s Episcopal Church was blown off
when the soldiers ignited captured
Confederate armories and magazines.

Milledgeville, like Georgia, survived. Life
returned to the city after the war, even though
the Reconstruction era legislature voted to
move the capitol to Atlanta. The old capitol
became the center of what would become
the Military College of Georgia

Milledgeville is known today as one of the
most charming cities in the South. The
downtown area is a beautifully preserved
area of shops and restaurants. The historic
Old Capitol Building is the location of the Old
Capital Museum and the grounds are open
daily. The Old Governor's Mansion is also a
museum and historical markers dot the
landscape. The nearby farm of famed author
Flannery O'Connor is open for tours.
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Historic Sites in Georgia