Mitchel seized Huntsville in order to sever the Confederacy's rail communications and gain access to the Memphis & Charleston Railroad.
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.
Resources in the area were strained as new workers flocked to the area, and the construction of housing could not keep up.
At the end of the war in 1945, the munitions facilities were no longer needed.
In some of these, workers were required to buy goods at the company stores, which sometimes overcharged them.
The mill owners could throw out workers from housing if they violated policies about behavior.
After they had established themselves, the occupying federals did not burn or pillage the city of Huntsville, though towns around it were sometimes targeted. The Union troops were forced to retreat some months later, but returned to Huntsville in the fall of 1863 and thereafter used the city as a base of operations for the remainder of the war.
While many homes and villages in the surrounding countryside were burned in retaliation for the active guerrilla warfare in the area, Huntsville itself was spared because it housed elements of the Union Army.
Redstone Arsenal was prepared for disposal, but Sparkman used his considerable Southern Democratic influence (the Solid South controlled numerous powerful chairmanships of congressional committees) to persuade the Army to choose it as a site for rocket and missile development.The city's sesquicentennial anniversary was held in 1955, David Wade arrived in Huntsville in 1817. It was torn down in 1952 and today only the antebellum smokehouse, an imposing structure, survives.He built the David Wade House on the north side of Bob Wade Lane (Robert B. In 1819, Huntsville hosted a constitutional convention in Walker Allen's large cabinetmaking shop.In 1950, about 1,000 personnel were transferred from Fort Bliss, Texas, to Redstone Arsenal to form the Ordnance Guided Missile Center (OGMC).Central to this was a group of about 200 German scientists and engineers, led by Wernher von Braun; they had been brought to America by Colonel Holger Toftoy under Operation Paperclip following World War II.