We are camping this week in Midgetville, Georgia. Sorry, it’s not Midgetville, but Milledgeville, named for John Milledge. Born in 1757 in Savannah, Georgia, he fought in the Revolutionary War and was very active in Georgia politics, including being Governor of Georgia from 1802 to 1806.
The first European to set foot here was Hernando de Soto on April 3, 1540, searching, on behalf of Spain, for gold. We know this because it was covered by CNN news.
Milledgeville is situated on the Oconee River. The rapid current of the river here made this an attractive location to build a city. The river’s name derives from the Oconee, a Muskogean people of central Georgia. Milledgeville was a planned city (like Washington, D.C.) established in 1803 and was the capital of Georgia for 60 years, from 1807 to 1868. However, after the war the Capital of Georgia was moved from here to Atlanta, a city emerging as the symbol of the New South.
On January 19, 1861, Georgia convention delegates passed the Ordinance of Secession, and on February 4, 1861, the “Republic of Georgia” joined the Confederate States of America. On November 22, 1864 Union general William T. Sherman and 30,000 Union troops marched into Milledgeville during his March to the Sea. Surprisingly, he did not destroy the city.
This allowed us to view houses, like the Sanford-MdComb House, built in 1823.
The city also had these relics:
Milledgeville boasts two colleges, Georgia College, not to be confused with Georgia University, and Georgia Military College.
Georgia College was chartered in 1889 as Georgia Normal and Industrial College. Obviously the College was not Normal as it had 6 different names over the years:
Georgia Normal and Industrial College (1889–1922)
Georgia State College for Women (1922–1961)
Woman’s College of Georgia (1961–1967)
Georgia College at Milledgeville (1967–1971)
Georgia College (1971–1996) and its current name Georgia College and State University.
The campus comprises 43.2 acres in the center of Milledgeville. The campus contains buildings of red brick and white Corinthian columns, representative of those constructed during the Antebellum period.
TIDBIT OF INFORMATION: The Antebellum Period was a period in the history of the Southern United States from the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War (1783) until the start of the American Civil War in 1861. The Antebellum South was characterized by large plantations and the rampant use of slavery.
Georgia Military College (GMC) was established in 1879 “…to educate young men and women from the Middle Georgia area in an environment which fosters the qualities of good citizenship.”
GMC’s main campus is located in downtown Milledgeville, a couple of blocks from Georgia College. This makes the city pretty crowded with college students.
The school was originally called Middle Georgia Military and Agricultural College and was ceded state government lands surrounding the Old Capitol Building, which was the seat of government for the State of Georgia from 1807-1868. The Old Capitol Building is a central feature of the Milledgeville campus and sits on the city’s highest point.