I’m Masud Olufani for the Atlanta History Center.
It is the third week of July 1864.
Union forces threaten to cut Atlanta’s railroad supply lines South and East of the city.
Newly appointed commander, Confederate General John Bell Hood plans his attack.
On the twentieth, he strikes North of Atlanta, near Peachtree Creek and catches Sherman by surprise, but Sherman’s veterans rally and push back the Confederates.
Undeterred, Hood attacks again, on July twenty-second, just East of the city in what’s now known as The Battle of Atlanta, fifty-eight thousand men fight for control of the Georgia railroad
Union artillery commander Francis Degress watches in horror as Confederate forces break through the Union line.
His men load and and fire canister rounds as fast as they can. Still, the Confederates rush forward.
Union forces retreat but Degress and another stay behind.
The Confederates call on them to surrender.
Instead, they fire two guns point blank, tearing great holes in the confederate lines.
Degress escapes and less than an hour later he returns with reinforcements to re-capture his guns.
Hood’s attack fails – though barely.
In six days, he will attack again.
I’m Masud Olufani and this is week fourteen.