August 29th, 1864

August 29th, 1864:

The Federal Army, having reached the West Point railroad at Red Oak and Fairburn on the previous day, spend the 29th destroying 12.5 miles of track stretching as far south as Palmetto.  They burned the ties and lay the track across them to heat them and then bend them around trees.  They fill the railroad cuts with trees, rocks, dirt, and in some cases they rig up artillery shells in the debris to explode if material is moved.  There is also a great deal of looting and pillaging of the local populace.  Livestock and food stuffs are taken along with anything the looters deem useful.  Some things are destroyed just for fun.  On the night of the 29th, Sherman issues marching orders for the next day.  In the morning they will begin moving toward Jonesboro.

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Atlanta – West Point Railroad looking south towards Fairburn. 
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Fairburn Georgia as it stands today.  Much of the town and local farms were looted during the two days that Federal forces spent here destroying the railroad prior to their movement to Jonesboro.
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The Atlanta – West Point Railroad at Red Oak.  Looking north from mile marker 14 toward the Confederate held East Point.  The Federals destroyed over 12 miles of track in two days time between East Point and Fairburn and further south to Palmetto.
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August 16th, 1864

August 16th, 1864:

Sherman has sent Kilpatrick’s Cavalry to the south of Atlanta on a reconnaissance mission.  On the morning of the 16th, Kilpatrick reaches Fairburn, where he destroys three miles of railroad track and the depot.  He has been operating without any real opposition from Jackson’s Cavalry.  Sherman begins to think that Kilpatrick, along with a couple Brigades of Garrad’s Cavalry, could swing far south of Atlanta and destroy the railroad without needing to move the entire army.  Sherman ask Kilpatrick if he thinks it is possible, to which he replies that it would be possible to damage the tracks bad enough to be out of service and not put his command in any danger.

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Fairburn, Georgia.  Located south west of Atlanta along the railroad lines.  As Kilpatrick came through on his raid he destroyed the original Depot.  The marker here is for the raising of the first Confederate flag in Georgia.  Wives of men that had been at the Confederate Congress, stopped on their home in Grantville to purchase fabric and by the time they made it to Fairburn, they had created the flag.
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Looking north towards East Point along the railroad that leads to Atlanta.  This one of the vital supply lines the fed the city while it was under siege.  Kilpatrick destroyed roughly three miles of track here.