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The final blow to the Confederacy's Southern stronghold It was Sherman's experienced railroad wreckers that finally drove Hood out of Atlanta. In the picture the rails heating red-hot amid the flaming bonfires of the ties, and the piles of twisted debris show vividly what Sherman meant when he said their “work was done with a will.” Sherman saw that in order to take Atlanta without terrific loss he must cut off all its rail communications. This he did by “taking the field with our main force and using it against the communications of Atlanta instead of against its intrenchments.” On the night of August 25th he moved with practically his entire army and wagon-trains loaded with fifteen days rations. By the morning of the 27th the whole front of the city was deserted. The Confederates concluded that Sherman was in retreat. Next day they found out their mistake, for the Federal army lay across the West Point Railroad while the soldiers began wrecking it. Next day they were in motion toward the railroad to Macon, and General Hood began to understand that a colossal raid was in progress. After the occupation, when this picture was taken, Sherman's men completed the work of destruction.

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