Civil War

Old Fort Jackson

During the Civil War Old Fort Jackson was garrisoned by Confederate soldiers like the Irish Jasper Greens, Republican Blues and 22nd Georgia Heavy Artillery beginning in 1861. During this period, Fort Jackson served as headquarters for the defenses along the Savannah River. On December 20, 1864 the Confederate garrison was forced to abandon Fort Jackson as Union General William T. Sherman led his army on his famed "March to the Sea." The last wartime occupants of Fort Jackson were the African American troops from the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

Central Railroad & Banking Company

Georgia State Railroad Museum began life in 1836 as the Central Railroad & Banking Company. The company was profitable in the years leading up to the Civil War and controlled 229 miles of track in Georgia. This changed when the Confederate government ordered smaller railroads to turn over rolling stock to larger ones that had more military traffic. The Central's Savannah Shops also produced gun carriages and other military equipment. During Sherman's "March to the Sea", Union troops destroyed track, bridges and other railroad facilities. Although the Savannah Shops were spared, the Central lost 140 miles of track, 14 locomotives and 97 rail cars. By the end of the war, the railroad has lost much of its greatness, but by 1867 began to again make a profit from the return of freight business.