Burke County was created on Feb. 5, 1777, it was also one of the original counties in Georgia. In 1779, Major General John Twiggs, Lieutenant Colonel William Few, along with 250 men they victoriously defended the Cause of the American Revolution at the Battle of Burke Jail. During the American Civil War, Burke County provided the 2nd Regiment Georgia Infantry Company D (Burke Sharpshooters). Burke county is also located within the Central Savannah River Area. It was developed in the antebellum period for lager cotton plantations. Burke County now has a population of 22,790 according to the United States Census Quick Facts in 2014. The county has total area of 835 square miles, which 827 square miles is land and 8.0 square miles is water. It is the second-largest county by area in Georgia. Burke is in the Ogeechee River Basin and the Savannah River Basin. Burke County is home to many industries and a thriving Agricultural area. Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant also known as Plant Vogtle which is currently a 2-unit nuclear power plant, in the process of adding two additional units. Construction of the two-unit plant started in 1974. Unit 1 began commercial operation in May 1987. Unit 2 began commercial operation in May 1989. Each unit is capable of generating 1,215 megawatts for a total capacity of 2,430 MW. The plant is powered by pressurized water reactors manufactured by Westinghouse. Approximately 900 people - engineers, mechanics, control room operators, lab technicians, instrument and control technicians, electricians, security officers and others - oversee the plant's operations 24 hours a day, every day of the year. In June 2009, Plant Vogtle's operating license was extended for 20 years.