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‘From the ashes left us in 1864’

The ruins of Atlanta here are the very scenes to which Grady was referring. The destruction of its industries Sherman declared to be a military necessity. Atlanta contained the largest foundries and machine-shops south of Richmond. It formed a railroad center for the central South, where provisions might be gathered and forwarded to the armies at the front. To destroy the Atlanta shops and railroads would therefore cripple the resources of the Confederacy. Railroads had been torn up to the south of the city even before its capture on September 2, 1864. But it was not until November 15th, when Sherman had completed all his arrangements for the march to the sea, that on every road leading into Atlanta the ties were burned, the rails torn up and then twisted so as to render them permanently useless. The buildings were first burned and the walls afterward razed to the ground. In the fire thus started the exploding of ammunition could be heard all night in the midst of the ruins. The flames soon spread to a block of stores and soon the heart of the city was burned out completely.

Ruins of Atlanta (1).

Ruins of Atlanta (2).


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