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Week 13

July 14-July 20

It is mid-July, 1864.

The President of the Confederate States of America discharges General Johnston of his command for failing to halt the enemy’s drive to the gates of Atlanta.

The city is a fortress, encircled by ten miles of fortifications that have destroyed its forests.

Unlike his predecessor’s retreat, General John Bell Hood believes the offensive power of his infantry can protect them.

 

Episode Transcript

I'm Masud Olufani for the Atlanta History Center.

It is mid July, 1864.

The President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, relieves General Johnston of his command for gaining to "arrest the advance of the enemy."

In three months, Sherman's army has outnumbered, outgunned and outmaneuvered Johnston to the gates of Atlanta.

Atlanta is a fortress, with a series of defenses too strong to assault and too extensive to surround.

Ten miles of fortifications completely encircle the city. Designed by railroad engineer Lemuel P. Grant - They are built by slave labor. For their sweat, their white owner are paid $1 a day.

After a year of grueling work, they complete the fortifications, essentially destroying the forest surrounding Atlanta.

But Johnston's replacement in General John Bell Hood who has no confidence in entrenchments. A Southern hero - daring and aggressive - Hood believes in the offensive power of his infantry to defend the city.

Rather than Johnston's cautious retreat, Hood believes that his boldness in strategy, speed in movement and determination in battle are "a gift from Heaven."

I'm Masud Olufani and this is week thirteen.

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