I’m Masud Olufani for The Atlanta History Center.
For two weeks, General Joseph E. Johnston's Confederate Army has blocked Sherman's advance at Kennesaw Mountain.
Atlantans hope their city is safe, though they know the enemy is intent on taking Atlanta by the Fourth of July.
On July Second, Sherman moves around Johnston, who withdraws toward the Chattahoochee River.
And as the Confederate Army falls back, Atlanta residents begin to panic.
The city is in a complete swarm as wagons loaded with furniture and household possessions crowd every street.
Women - old and young - and children run about in the excitement, confusion and fear.
Soon, 16,000 of Atlanta's 20,000 residents are refugees.
Outside Atlanta, Union armies tear up fences, trample crops and steal food and livestock, leaving many to starve.
When Sherman's men capture and burn two textile mills, six hundred mill workers are loaded into railroad cars on his command and sent North as prisoners.
Most of them are impoverished young women who lack the means to ever return home.
In the countryside, Sherman orders civilians caught within three miles of the railroad arrested under suspicion of spying or sabotage.
In Sherman's words …"All the people retire before us and desolation is behind,”. “To realize what war is, one should follow our track."
I’m Masud Olufani and this is Week Eleven.