American Revolution to the Civil War
During the American Revolution, Savannah fell to the British. This left Augusta as the new state capital and a new prime target of the British. By January 31, 1779, Augusta was captured by Lt. Col. Archibald Campbell. But Campbell soon withdrew, as American troops were gathering on the opposite shore of the Savannah River. Augusta again became the state capital, but not for long. Augusta fell into British hands once more before the end of the war. From then until the American Civil War, with the establishment of the Augusta Canal, Augusta became a leader in the production of textiles, gunpowder, and paper. The Georgia Railroad was built by local contractors Fannin, Grant & Co in 1845, giving Augusta a rail link to Atlanta. The railroad connected to the Tennessee River at Chattanooga, Tennessee, thus providing access from inland Georgia to the Mississippi River. The cost-savings of this link from the middle of the country to the Atlantic Ocean via the Savannah River increased trade considerably. In 1845, Augusta was the location of the founding of the Southern Baptist Convention, today one of the largest Protestant denominations in the country. Due to increasing tensions between northern and southern Baptists on the subject of slavery in the 1840s, southern Baptists decided to withdraw formally from the national Baptist organizations. They met at the First Baptist Church of Augusta in May 1845 and formed the new convention, naming it the Southern Baptist Convention. By 1860 Augusta had a population of 12,493; it was then one of 102 U.S. cities to have a population of over 10,000, and was the second largest city in Georgia. The American Revolution was a political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break from the British Empire, combining to ecome the United States of America. They first rejected the authority of the Parliament of Great Britain to govern them from overseas without representation, and then expelled all royal officials. By 1774 each colony had established a Provincial Congress or an equivalent governmental institution to govern itself, but still recognized the British Crown and their inclusion in the empire. The British responded by sending combat troops to re-impose direct rule. Through the Second Continental Congress, the Americans then managed the armed conflict in response to the British known as the American Revolutionary War (also: American War of Independence, 1775–83). The British sent invasion armies and used their powerful navy to blockade the coast. George Washington became the American commander, working with Congress and the states to raise armies and neutralize the influence of Loyalists. Claiming the rule of George III of Great Britain was tyrannical and therefore illegitimate, Congress declared independence as a new nation in July 1776, when Thomas Jefferson wrote and the states unanimously ratified the United States Declaration of Independence. The British lost Boston in 1776, but then captured and held New York City. The British would capture the revolutionary capital at Philadelphia in 1777, but Congress escaped, and the British withdrew a few months later. After a British army was captured by the American army at Saratoga, the French balanced naval power by entering the war in 1778 as allies of the United States. A combined American-French force captured a second British army at Yorktown in 1781, effectively ending the war. A peace treaty in 1783 confirmed the new nation's complete separation from the British Empire, and resulted in the United States taking possession of nearly all the territory east of the Mississippi River.