Atlanta Campaign


In early May of 1864, Federal forces under Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman began battling the Confederate Army of Tennessee. At stake was Atlanta, a major manufacturing center and railroad hub. For nearly 17 weeks, Sherman’s three armies battled Confederate defenders under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston or his successor, Lt. Gen. John B. Hood. Sherman’s larger forces skillfully managed turning movements throughout much of the campaign, forcing the Confederates to withdraw from successive defensive positions. Pinned into a corner around Atlanta, Hood's army lashed out time and again in an effort to break out from the grip of the Federal forces. The Confederates failed at every turn. Sherman’s capture of Atlanta was a major blow to the Confederacy, all but assuring President Abraham Lincoln’s re-election two months later and setting the stage for Sherman’s March to the Sea.