Georgia in the American Civil War
On January 19, 1861, Georgia, a slave state, declared that it had seceded from the United States and joined the newly formed Confederacy the next month, during the prelude to the American Civil War. During the war, Georgia sent nearly 100,000 men to battle for the Confederacy, mostly to the Virginian armies. Despite secession, many southerners in North Georgia remained loyal to the Union. Approximately 5,000 Georgians served in the Union army in units including the 1st Georgia Infantry Battalion, the 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment, and a number of East Tennessean regiments. The state switched from cotton to food production, but severe transportation difficulties eventually restricted supplies. Early in the war, the state's 1,400 miles of railroad tracks provided a frequently used means of moving supplies and men but, by the middle of 1864, much of these lay in ruins or in Union hands.The Georgia legislature voted $100,000 to be sent to South Carolina for the relief of Charlestonians who suffered a disastrous fire in December 1861.Thinking the state was immune from invasion, the Confederates built several small munitions factories in Georgia, and housed tens of thousands of Union prisoners. Their largest prisoner of war camp was at Andersonville.