I’m Masud Olufani for the Atlanta history center.
On September 2, 1864, Mayor James M. Calhoun rides outside Atlanta’s
Fortifications and surrenders his city to Sherman’s advancing troops.
Calhoun tells them “The fortune of war has placed Atlanta in your hands,” and asks for the protection of residents and private property.
Anticipating Sherman’s arrival, bookseller Samuel P. Richards writes
That he and his wife “Have about decided to stay at home, Yankees or no Yankees.
“We hear and read terrible tales of them, but I don’t think they are as bad as they are said to be.”
And despite fear of union soldiers, ten-year-old Carrie Berry discovers.... “They are orderly and behave themselves,” she writes, “I think I shall like the Yankees very well.”
But, on September 4th, Sherman expels all residents from the city with special order no. 67.
Sherman turns Atlanta into a military encampment to avoid any civilian resistance or interference.
Atlanta families are forced to abandon their homes.
Hoping to overturn the order and the ensuing hardships on Atlanta’s residents, Mayor Calhoun writes Sherman: “You know the woe, the horror, and the suffering cannot be described by words.”
Sherman responds – “War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it.”
I’m Masud Olufani and this is week twenty-one.