Nonlinear waves propagating along a magneto-plasma column are investigated on the basis of the cold fluid model. Three regimes are studied in detail: (1) column in free space, zero magnetic field (surface waves), (2) column surrounded by conductor, weak axial dc magnetic field, i.e., ωce<ωpe, (3) column surrounded by conductor, large axial magnetic field. For each case, the evolution in space of the modal amplitude, which is shown to act as a potential from which the longitudinal component of the electric field may be obtained, is described by a Korteweg-de Vries equation. For a given initial condition, each case is shown to behave quantitatively differently due to differences in the magnitude and sign of the nonlinear and dispersive terms. Correlation with experimental results are discussed.