154 A BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI PHOTO COURTESY OF THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF WAR INFORMATION PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION residents utilized keelboats during times of high water to float goods to market. Roadways became increasingly important as one traveled inland, and, indeed, residents of Winchester often traveled overland to Mobile instead of by river. Augusta, on the Leaf River, and Winchester, on the Chickasawhay, were the two most important towns in the Piney Woods along the Pascagoula River system during the early antebellum period. Founded in 1812 and situated on the banks of the Leaf River, Augusta served two important functions: that of the county seat of Perry County from 1818 to 1906 and also as a United States Land Office from 1819 to 1860. In 1841, the town consisted of a town square dotted with a dozen structures, including a tavern, courthouse, clerk’s office, the county jail, and ten to twelve homes. Augusta was well known as the site of the hanging of the outlaw James Copeland on October 30, 1857. Copeland, who was thirty-four years old at the time of his death, was one of the leaders of the Copeland and Wages clan, which contained some sixty members. Copeland learned his trade from Gale H. Wages and Charles McGrath, bandits who operated in and around Mobile. Copeland’s area of operation extended from the Mobile area westward to the Pearl River. His purported crimes included arson, rustling cattle and hogs, theft, and murder. The murder, which would send him to the gallows, occurred in July 1848 in Perry County, Mississippi, when the Copeland gang rode to