On January 19, 1861, Georgia suceeded from the union and was an independent state for a few weeks. During that time, Captain Arnold Elzey, the commanding officer of the United States Arsenal in Summerville, surrendered it to Governor Joseph E. Brown. The details were worked out on January 24th and the Arsenal was duly surrendered.
The Augusta Volunteer Battalion was supposed to be reviewed by the governor and hold a parade on the 24th but it rained so heavily the parade was called off. Undeterred by the terrible weather, several militia groups marched to the Planter’s Hotel where the governor was staying and he spoke briefly to them from a balcony according to the Daily Chronicle & Sentinel.
The Augusta Volunteer Battalion, led by Captain Alfred Cumming, guarded the Arsenal while it was in state hands. According to the newspaper, there were “friendly relations” between the volunteers and the Federal troops while they were both occupying the Arsenal together. Captain Elzey led the Federal troops out of the city on January 29th. It was reported in the newspaper that Captain Elzey resigned his commision in the United States Army after reporting to his new post at Fort Monroe and rose to the rank of general in the Confederate Army.