Civil War

December 18, 1865

Thirteenth Amendment

The words slavery and slave were never mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, until Georgia ratified the 13th Amendment and officially abolished slavery in the United States. Ironically, an earlier 13th Amendment would have done just the opposite, outlawing amendments ending slavery in an attempt to persuade the Southern states not to leave the Union. The […]

December 22, 1864

Sherman in Savannah

“I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000 bales of cotton.” Thus did U.S. General William Tecumseh Sherman notify President Lincoln that he had captured Savannah at the end of his March to the Sea. Sherman left Atlanta […]

February 25, 1864

First POWs at Andersonville Prison

One of the most notorious sites in American history, Andersonville Prison in southwest Georgia, accepted the first U.S. prisoners of war on this day in 1864. Andersonville — built to hold 10,000 prisoners — ended up holding three times that thanks to the halt of prisoner exchanges during Grant’s campaign in Virginia. Conditions were bad […]

May 5, 1864

Atlanta Campaign Begins

General William Tecumseh Sherman introduced himself to the people of Georgia on this day in 1864. The Confederacy still had a chance to win the Civil War if Robert E. Lee could hold onto the capital at Richmond, and if Joe Johnston could keep Sherman from taking Atlanta, the South’s major railroad hub. President Lincoln […]

June 27, 1864

Battle of Kennesaw Mountain

Since early May 1864 U.S. General William Tecumseh Sherman had been moving south from Tennessee toward Atlanta, with Joe Johnston’s Confederates blocking his path. Every flanking move Sherman made, Johnston countered, frustrating Sherman’s plans. Finally, Sherman’s patience snapped. No more flanking. He would attack Johnston head on and destroy his army. It would be the […]

November 12, 1864

Destruction of Atlanta

With fires burning brightly, this day was still one of the darkest in Atlanta’s history. Atlanta was the gateway through which most of the traffic passed between the south Atlantic seaboard and the regions to the west, and the city became a major prize during the Civil War. Sherman captured the city in September after […]

July 22, 1864

Battle of Atlanta

General William Sherman and his army were set to take Atlanta in July, 1864. General Joseph Johnston’s Confederate army had fought them since May. But they could only slow Sherman down, not stop him. The citizens of the Confederacy’s major railroad hub were justifiably worried. So was Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Fearing Atlanta would fall […]

September 2, 1864

Sherman Captures Atlanta

“Atlanta is ours, and fairly won”: the immortal words of General William T. Sherman when he captured Atlanta on this date in 1864. Sherman had taken the Deep South’s major manufacturing center and railroad hub, a huge loss for the Confederacy. Unwilling to attack Atlanta’s strong defenses, U.S. forces swept west and south around the […]

May 14, 1864

Battle of Resaca

It was the first major battle of the Atlanta Campaign during the Civil War. The Battle of Resaca began 75 miles northwest of Atlanta on this day in 1864. Joe Johnston’s Confederate Army of Tennessee had wintered in Dalton after its defeat at Chattanooga the previous November. Sherman moved south into Georgia in May with […]

August 15, 1864

First Black Soldiers in Combat in Georgia

It was the first time that African-American soldiers fought in the Civil War in Georgia. On this day in 1864, the 14th United States Colored Troops, mostly former slaves, fought off a Confederate cavalry attack near Dalton. Later, the 44th U.S. Colored troops were protecting the railroad through Dalton. Confederate General John Bell Hood attacked, […]