Huntsville was the control point for the Western Division of the Memphis & Charleston, and by controlling this railroad the Union had a direct connection to Charleston, South Carolina.
During the first occupation, the Union officers occupied many of the larger homes in the city while the other men camped on the outskirts.
Redstone Arsenal was then prepared for disposal, but, again with assistance from Senator Sparkman, it was selected for the Army's rocket and missile development.
In 1950, about 1,000 personnel were transferred from Fort Bliss, Texas, to Redstone Arsenal to form the Ordnance Guided Missile Center (OGMC).
This was a temporary designation for one legislative session only, and the capital was then moved to Cahawba, then to Tuscaloosa, and finally to Montgomery. The Fourth Alabama Infantry, which contained two Huntsville companies, were the first Alabama troops to fight in the war and were present when Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox in April 1865.
Eight generals of the war were born in or near Huntsville, evenly split with four on each side.
Mitchel seized Huntsville in order to sever the Confederacy's rail communications and gain access to the Memphis & Charleston Railroad.A combination of factors, including depopulation due to disease, land disputes between the Choctaw and Cherokee, and pressures from the United States government had largely depopulated the area prior to Revolutionary War veteran John Hunt's arrival and settlement in the land around the Big Spring in 1805.The 1805 Treaty with the Chickasaws and the Cherokee Treaty of Washington of 1806 ceded native claims to the United States Government.He built the David Wade House on the north side of Bob Wade Lane (Robert B. Lebanon Road, recognizable by the six rough Doric columns on the portico.The house was included in the HABS Archive and was photographed by Frances Benjamin Johnston, but already then it was deteriorating.One significant start involved manufacturing the Keller automobile, but this closed with only 18 vehicles built.