“Atlanta Is Ours”

Posted: September 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

Since we’re in the midst of 1864 Civil War commemorations this year, it’s worth remembering that this week saw some pretty important events in Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign.

Emerging Civil War

Union General William T.  Sherman Union General William T. Sherman

Defeat at Jonesboro ended John Bell Hood’s hopes of holding Atlanta. He abandoned the city the evening of September 1, destroying all useful military stores that could not be moved (a scene later immortalized in the book and film Gone With The Wind). The next morning (150 years ago today), Atlanta’s mayor surrendered the city to Sherman’s troops; over the next days, Sherman’s army group consolidated in and around the city. After 4 months and 23,000 casualties (vs 27,000 Confederate losses), Sherman’s men had achieved a great victory. “Atlanta is ours, and fairly won,” telegraphed Sherman on September 3.

Atlanta’s fall electrified the North. Just the previous month, George McClellan had been nominated on a Democratic platform that called the war a failure. Sherman’s announcement destroyed that claim. This measurable land success changed public opinion, and turned the 1864 election campaign to Lincoln’s advantage…

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