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The Burning of Atlanta
The Burning of Atlanta

A Radical move by Sherman! (not Nick)


The Burning of Atlanta

When Sherman entered Atlanta, Sherman issued an order telling all the people to leave in five days. Hood argued against this order, and the mayor and council of Atlanta appealed to Sherman to withdraw it, saying that most of the people in Atlanta were women and children, who would suffer a lot if made to leave their homes. Sherman replied, "I have read the petition carefully, and give full credit to your statements of distress that will be occasioned, and yet shall not revoke my orders, because they were not designed to meet the humanities of the case." When the preparations for the march had been made and the people had been forced to leave, Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground.

The March to Sea (a little after the burning)

The March Begins

While preparing for the long march before him, Sherman left behind all disabled or weak men, and therfor had a fine army of 60,000 seasoned veterans, of which 5,000 were cavalry. The army was to feed itself on the country. Each brigade had a party of foragers, called "bummers." These men were told to take everything that they needed, horses and mules, but were told never to enter homes, nor insult the people, and were told to leave a part of their property to each family, so that none of the families would become destitute. When Sherman's army was not fighting resistence, Sherman ordered that mills, cotton gins and houses shouldn't be destroyed; but they were to be burned, if resistances were made. All these orders were very badly obeyed, because no effort was seemingly made to enforce the orders.

Atlanta to Milledgeville

This march was directed toward the capital, Milledgeville. Sherman divided his army into two divisions, the right wing under General O. O. Howard following the railroad by Jonesboro and McDonough, with orders to stop at Gordon, on the Central of Georgia Railroad; the left wing, under General H. W. Slocum, marching by way of Decatur and Covington to Madison; and thence to Milledgeville. General Sherman was with the left wing. The army spread out, visiting the important towns in that section of the state. The movement from Atlanta began on November 15th, and by the 23rd Sherman and the left wing reached Milledgeville, and the right wing had stopped at Gordon. Sherman didn't destroy any capitol buildings at Milledgeville.

burnatla.jpg

This is a picture of the inferno, where General Sherman burned Atlanta so thoroughly that not one building from the civil war stands to day.

The Reason

Because of Atlanta's location and economical power, during the Civil War, Atlanta was a military center and a supply route by the Confederate army during the Civil War. This is why it became a target for the Union army. General William Tecumseh Sherman and his troops captured the city in 1864. General William Tecumseh Sherman and his troops burned Atlanta to the ground before they moved on to wreak more havoc. The reason they did this because it would weaken the Confederate army considerably.


On November 15, 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman walked away from Atlanta in flames and began his long, vicious March to the Sea. His plan was to obliterate everything in his path to break the Souths will. This could easily be the most destructive event in the Civil War. Many people in the Union disaplroved of this act after the fact.