November 12th, 1864
General Sherman and his staff departed from Kingston on the morning of the 12th and began their journey to Atlanta. They reached Cartersville around noon where they sat on a porch at the telegraph operators office to rest. Sherman received a dispatch from General Thomas in Nashville. Sherman replied with “Dispatch received-all right”. As Sherman ended his message the telegraph line linking him to Chattanooga and the remainder of the Federal Army, was cut. Sherman and his forces were now cut off and on their own until they reached the coast. Just below Cartersville they stopped to watched the last trains cross the bridge over the Etowah River, and then crossed the river and continued south. They traveled about 20 miles for the day and camped near Allatoona.
The Federal troops in the outpost there had been protecting and garrisoning locations throughout North Georgia, were ordered to march toward Atlanta as quickly as possible and to destroy the railroad and make the country “untenable” for the enemy. Bridges, mills, homes, barns, and other buildings were burned and food as well as livestock were taken. What they could not carry, they destroyed.