150 Years Ago Today: Siege of Atlanta

August 1st – August 27th, 1864:
     After the Battle of Atlanta on July 22nd, the Federal Artillery began to shell the city of Atlanta, sometimes it was light and random and at other times there were “duels” with the Confederate Artillery in the inner defensive perimeter. 
     On the first of August, Sherman learned of the failure of the Cavalry raid to destroy the railroads south of the city.  He then sent the following order to General Schofield “You may fire ten to fifteen shots from every gun you have in position into Atlanta that will reach any of its houses.  Fire slowly and with deliberation between 4:00pm and dark.  Thomas and Howard will do the same.” (O.R. 38, V, 324, Sherman to Schofield).
     On the 7th of August, after the failure of the Federal forces to take the railroad junction at East Point.  Sherman request two more large siege guns to be sent from Chattanooga by rail.  These guns shoot a 4.5 inch diameter round weighing 30 pounds.
     As the shelling of the city became more intense, more and more damage was done.  The Federal artillery was using the church spires of town as land marks for sighting their guns.  Homes and businesses alike were damaged or destroyed.  Sherman was targeting the city itself and wanting nothing more than to break Hood’s resolve and force the Confederate army from their stronghold.  At one point, Hood sent a message to Sherman requesting that he stop shelling the noncombatants in the city and pointed out that the cities defensive line was a full mile outside the city.  Sherman replied that Atlanta was a military target and an arsenal.  Sherman continued the siege unchanged.  The first civilian casualty of the siege was small girl in the area of Peachtree St. and Ellis Street.  Solomon Luckie, a free black man who owned a barber shop in town, was killed by a shell near what is now the Five Points Marta Station.  There is an original gas lamp on the corner at the marta station and local legend says that the hole in the base was caused by the same shell that killed Solomon Luckie. 

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Author: Clint Brownlee

My name is Clint Brownlee and I am a Photographer in Woodstock, Georgia with over 20 years of photographic experience in many different aspects of photography. I have photographed everything from weddings, special events and portraits to published materials, but my passion has always been Fine Art and Nature Photography. I have had a several shows at the Mason Murer Fine Art Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia and The Roswell Visual Arts Center in Roswell, Georgia. I now sell through my website: www.clintbrownleephotography.com

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