Auburn University was chartered by the Alabama Legislature as the East Alabama Male College on February 7, 1856, coming under the guidance of the Methodist Church in 1859. The first president of the institution was Reverend William J. Sasnett, and the school opened its doors in 1859 to a student body of eighty and a faculty of ten. The early history of Auburn is inextricably linked with the Civil War and the Reconstruction-era South. Classes were held in "Old Main" until the college was closed due to the Civil War, when most of the students and faculty left to enlist. The campus was used as a training ground for the Confederate Army, and "Old Main" served as a hospital for Confederate wounded. To commemorate Auburn's contribution to the Civil War, a cannon lathe used for the manufacture of cannons for the Confederate Army and recovered from Selma, Alabama, was presented to Auburn in 1952 by brothers of Delta Chapter of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity. It sits today on the lawn next to Samford Hall.