Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Artifact of the Day - Augusta Arsenal Box

I'd like to continue showcasing a few artifacts that maybe you don't notice as you walk through our galleries but contribute a great deal of value and importance to our region's history.

Above is an image of a Rifle Ammunition Box (1864) used at the Augusta Arsenal (present-day location of Augusta State University (www.aug.edu)).

This wooden box held 1,00 rounds or cartridges of ammunition for the Enfield riffle. Paper labels on each side of the box identify the contents of the box and are dated "September 1864". During the War, Augusta was one of the leading production sites for ammunition for the Confederacy, due to the Confederate Powderworks, located along the banks of the Augusta Canal (read more at www.augustacanal.com).

Some of the powder produced at the Powderworks was shipped "up the hill" to the Augusta Arsenal where it was used to make ammunition for firearms, grenades, rockets, and artillery.

Only three such ammunition boxes are known to exist. One of which is displayed in the Museum's permanent exhibit - Augusta's Story. Be sure to spot it in your next visit to the Augusta Museum of History!

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