Early September 1864

After the Battle of Jonesboro, Sherman’s Army followed the Confederates to Love Joy’s Station, where Hood rejoined Hardee with Stewart’s and Lee’s Corps.  Sherman skirmished a day or so and then after learning that the XX Corps had entered Atlanta, he withdrew from Love Joy’s Station and marched back to Atlanta to claim his prize and losing what many consider to have been a prime opportunity to crush Hood and the Army of Tennessee once and for all.  Having taken Atlanta, Sherman decided he had reached his objective and did not think it was worth the bloodshed to continue pressing his advantage.

Upon entering Atlanta, Sherman established his headquarters and began to restore order to the town.  He decided that it was a military outpost and ordered all civilians to evacuate.  A truce was negotiated with Hood, who was not happy about civilians being forced from their homes, and the civilians were given a choice of taking a train north or one to the south.  The ones that choose a train south, were sent to Rough and Ready, where they had to disembark and travel to Love Joy’s Station by wagon.  About half the cities population went north and the other half went south.  There were some civilians that were allowed to stay as they were given jobs by the Federals.

Poe, Sherman’s Chief Engineer, immediately started to rebuild and strengthen the defensive line around the city.  He built artillery forts connected with infantry trenches.  With much of the city in ruin, the soldiers started to use building materials from destroyed structures to begin building small shacks as living quarters.  Sherman also began to rest and resupply his armies in preparation for his next sortie into the heart of the Confederacy.

Many of the period images that exist of Atlanta come from this time of the campaign.  George Barnard entered the city to document the Federal occupation.  There are many iconic images of the Federals and their forts in Atlanta.

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After the Federal occupation of Atlanta, General Sherman forced all the civilians out of the city.  Those that chose to go south were sent to Rough and Ready, a railroad way station just south of town.  It is now called Mountain View sits east of the Atlanta Airport between I-75 and I-285.  Here, civilian and their belongings were transferred from the wagons of Union soldiers to the wagons of the Confederates.  The Confederates carried them south to the point where the railroad was usable and the civilians were transferred again to trains.

Note:  All the images below are attributed to George Barnard.  These images are all open source and were downloaded via wikicommons.  They are all in the National Archives or the Library of Congress.

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Whitehall Street, Atlanta Ga. 1864.
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After occupying Atlanta, the Federals began to strengthen the fortifications that were built by the Confederates to defend the city.
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Part of the Atlanta battlefield
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Part of the Atlanta battlefield.
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Battlefield of Atlanta with the Potter House in the background.
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When the Confederates evacuated Atlanta, General Hood ordered the munitions train to be destroyed.  This image shows all the remains of the train and the rolling mill.
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One of the Confederate forts converted into a Federal fort.
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Converted Confederate fort being used by the Federals during their occupation of Atlanta.
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Downtown Atlanta, 1864.
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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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