Mid October 1864

After the Battle of Allatoona Pass, Hood continued to move his army to the north and west of Atlanta.  He threatened the Federal supply line in several locations, but did not do any real lasting damage.  He was pursed for a short while by Sherman and his army, but as the Confederates moved farther west into Alabama, Sherman held his position along the railroad and upon receiving orders to proceed with his plan to March to the Sea, he began making preparations.  He established a headquarters in Kingston and directed all the activities in preparation for the March.  He ordered all the non essential personnel and equipment in Atlanta to be sent back to Chattanooga and had rations and ammunition stockpiled in Atlanta for their departure in early November.

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During the Federal Occupation of Atlanta, many of the Federal troops had constructed improved living quarters in anticipation of staying the winter.  They scavenged the many destroyed structures around Atlanta for the materials to construct their small shacks.
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More improved living quarters near the Atlanta City Hall and Fulton County Court House.  The Federal units assigned as the Provost Guard made their quarters here, where the current Georgia State Capitol now sits.
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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.

September 3rd, 1864

Sept. 3rd, 1864:

General Sherman, having followed Hardee from Jonesboro on the previous day, has formed his troops in a line of battle across from what is left of Hardee’s Corps.  Skirmishing continues throughout the day, buy Sherman does not order an assault.  Just before breakfast, Sherman receives a dispatch from a courier sent by Slocum in Atlanta advising him that they have entered and secured the City of Atlanta and that the remainder of Hood’s forces have evacuated toward Love Joy’s Station via the McDonough Rd.  Sherman, fearing that all of Hood’s forces have reunited, holds off on attacking the Confederates and with his objective “fairly won”, he decides to hold his position a day or two longer and destroy more railroad track, before returning to Atlanta.  Slocum’s entire XX Corps has entered the city and is attempting to restore some semblance of order.

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After his defeat at Jonesboro, General Hardee (CS) retreated with his Corps south to Love Joy’s Station.  The remainder of General Hoods Army of Tennessee (CS), having evacuated Atlanta, meets them here.  They entrench in the area and establish camps at Nash Farm and other sites within Love Joy.
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Nash Farm, once the site of a Cavalry Battle from Kilpatrick’s Raid (CS), will be site where the Confederates plan to make another stand, but General Sherman, receiving word that Atlanta has been captured and occupied by Federal forces, decides not to press his advantage and attack the Confederates.  He positions his armies facing the Confederates and small skirmishes continue.
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After learning that Atlanta has fallen, General Sherman does not attempt to attack the Confederates again at Love Joy Station.  Instead he forms entrenched lines and begins to destroy more of the railroad between Love Joy and Jonesboro.
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Hwy. 41 at McDonough Rd.  Looking south at where the Confederate lines crossed the road at Love Joy Station after their retreat from Jonesboro and Atlanta.
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Looking north on Hwy. 41 from McDonough Rd. in the direction of the Federal lines the were established after they chased the Confederates from Jonesboro to Love Joy.  The spent several days here preventing the Confederates from moving back north as well as destroying more railroad.

Atlanta Has Fallen

Sept. 2nd, 1864:

With the Confederate army gone and ensuing occupation of the Federal Army, Mayor Calhoun and a group of prominent citizens rode out of the city under a white flag of truce.  Prior to leaving they debated as to whether or not they should arm themselves, the decide wisely to go unarmed.  They ride out the Mason-Turner Ferry Road, now called Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway, where they pass through the defensive perimeter and go by the Ponder house.  They encounter a mounted patrol of Federals whom they engage in conversation.  Calhoun informs the Colonel that he would like to surrender the city to General Sherman, the Colonel states that Sherman is at Jonesboro and has Calhoun write a note to his commanding officer General Ward, surrendering the city.  Calhoun wrote the note and the Colonel and two other officers sign it affirming its validity.  The note reads as follows:

Brigadier General Ward,

Comdg. Third Division, Twentieth Corps

Sir:  The fortune of war has placed Atlanta in your hands.  As mayor of the city I ask protection to non-combatants and private property.

 

James M. Calhoun,

Mayor of Atlanta

By noon Federal units have reached City Hall and hoisted their colors over the city.  Around 2:00pm, General Slocum enters the city and establishes his headquarters at the Trout House.  He sends a telegram to the Secretary of War in Washington.  The first line is “General Sherman has taken Atlanta”.

Demoralized, Hood’s troops continue their march to Love Joy’s Station to link up with Hardee.  The loss of Atlanta is a crushing blow to the Confederacy.  For Lincoln, it is a great political achievement that helps secure his spot for another term as President.

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Marietta St. at North Side Drive.  The site where Mayor Calhoun formally surrendered the City of Atlanta to Federal force essentially ending General Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign.
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The Georgia State Capital now sits where Atlanta’s war time city hall once sat.  By noon on the second of September 1864, Federal Forces raised the US flag above city hall.  Later as the occupation of Atlanta began in earnest, the City Hall was used as a headquarters for the Provost and the Provost guard camped on the grounds.

150 Years Ago Today: September of 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.