Lee County, AL; Civil War; The Lathe; Selma, AL; Sherman, General William Tecumseh; Union Army; Columbus, GA; Irondale, AL; Ironclads; Atlanta, GA; Alabama Polytechnic Institute; Auburn University; Samford Hall; Auburn, AL
In the early years of the Civil War, the Lathe was constructed in Selma, Alabama to bore out 7-inch Brooke rifles that were the mainstay of Confederate ironclads and coastal fortifications stretched across the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. As Major General William T. Sherman's Union army marched towards Atlanta in the summer of 1864, Confederate officials decided to move the Lathe to the other major Confederate industrial center of Columbus, Georgia to avert its capture. On the way, it was buried in Irondale, Alabama as Sherman's forces bore down on Atlanta and eventually unearthed as Union forces moved further east. It spent the rest of its usable life in Columbus where it continued to bore cannon until the Confederacy's collapse in the spring of 1865. After the war, it was purchased and used by the Birmingham Rolling Mills - later part of the Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railroad Company - before it was presented to the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (later Auburn University) in 1936 where it has stood next to Samford Hall ever since.
Alabama Cultural Resource Survey
JPEG and Text
Still Image and Text