The chimney, a prominent landmark on the canal’s first level, is the only extant above-ground structure built by the Confederate States of America. It is all that remains of the CSA gunpowder “manufactory,” 28 buildings that stretched for two miles along the banks of the canal. The works supplied most of the powder for the Southern side of the Civil War.
The massive complex, built by CSA Colonel George Washington Rains, produced nearly 3 million pounds of high-quality gunpowder between 1861 and 1865. In 1872, when the abandoned powder works property was scheduled for demolition to allow the canal to be enlarged, Col. Rains asked the City of Augusta to save the chimney as a “fitting monument to the unnumbered dead who sleep on the battlefields of the South.”
The restoration included re-pointing and replacing missing brick and repairing a crack on the west wall. The original cast-iron cap was repaired and covered to protect the interior of the chimney from water. Cost of the project was $192,000.