Alice Williamson Diary

Fall of Atlanta

General Sherman built up his forces in Chattanooga in early May 1864, then went south, defeating the Confederates at every turn, and headed straight towards Atlanta. When they arrived at Atlanta, they found it heavily fortified, and made preparations for a siege. All through July and August, they tried to break into Atlanta. It was critical for Lincoln to defeat Atlanta before the elections, because his popularity was slipping as the war got stuck in entrenched positions like Richmond. On August 25 through 26, Sherman performed a surprise move, pulling back his troops from the front line and swung south, capturing the railroad at Jonesboro on August 31. Without the support of the railroad, Confederates abandoned Atlanta.

(McPherson, James M. The Atlas of the Civil War. Macmillan. 1994.)

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