On April 2, 1865, one of the last battles of the Civil War destroyed almost three-fourths of Selma and effected enormous change in the lives of its people. At the war’s start, Selma became a transportation center and one of the principal manufacturing centers supporting the South’s war effort. Its foundries produced much-needed supplies and munitions, and its naval yard constructed Confederate warships. A century later, Selma again became the scene of a dramatic battle when it served as the focus of the voting-rights movement. On Sunday, March 7, 1965, approximately 600 marchers set out from Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church on US Highway 80, headed for Montgomery to petition the state legislature for reforms at the voter-registration process. They were met six blocks outside of town at the Edmund Pettus Bridge by state and local law enforcement and were turned back with Billy clubs and tear gas–the day became known as”Bloody Sunday.” On March 25, after much debate and a court injunction, some 25,000 marchers finally crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge on their way to Montgomery.