This Week in the Civil War - #963
Key to Sherman’s destruction of Georgia was the elimination of Atlanta’s military, manufacturing, and communications facilities. The South’s largest city would essentially be destroyed with only private homes and churches exempted from burning. By Wednesday, November 16, 1864 Sherman left Atlanta a smoking ruin of a city, its economy and vitality in ruins, with her people desolate and bitter. As his forces moved into the Georgia countryside in four broad columns, there was limited skirmishing from militia and a few cavalry units. Behind enemy lines and operating on his own, Sherman would have been vulnerable to attack, if the Confederacy could have mustered sufficient forces against him. But the tide of battle had long turned against the Confederacy, and she lacked sufficient manpower to defend herself against Sherman’s campaign.