During the Civil War, Macon, Ga., was one of the South’s most active military industrial complexes, daily turning out huge amounts of small arms ammunition, artillery shells, rifle stocks and cannons, as well as soldier necessities such as caps, shoes and tents. Last week, the Macon Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee dedicated a marker noting Macon’s contribution to the war effort according to an article in the Macon Telegraph.

In 1862, Savannah was the Southern army’s ordinance center, but officials decided to move operations to Macon, a place considered safer from Union attack because it was deep in the center of the the state and already fortified. The military leased a foundry and a dozen warehouses in the city and employed up to 500 workers at peak production, according to information on the marker.

Maj. James Burton was close to completing what was deemed North America’s largest armory, spanning about two football fields. When Macon was captured in April 1865, it was finished except for the roof. Exposed to the weather, the building deteriorated badly and was eventually torn down.