Columbus is located in west-central Georgia just across the Chattahoochee River from Alabama. It is an industrial and military center, and the state's third largest city. Columbus was founded in 1827 by the Georgia legislature as an outpost against Indians. Growth followed the opening of the first cotton mill in 1838. One of the last battles of the Civil War was fought here in April 1865 when the city fell to Union forces. Cotton and textile production remain the chief industry. Fort Benning, a large military installation, borders on the south and east. In 1971, the Columbus and Muscogee County consolidated under a council-manager form of government.