I’m Masud Olufani for the Atlanta History Center.
It is mid-October 1864.
Nearly all Atlanta residents have fled or been forced to leave the city.
Union generals select from the finest homes in Atlanta for their headquarters – all left vacant.
General John White Geary – an ardent abolitionist – moves into a huge mansion called The Terraces.
It is the home of successful businessman Edward Rawson.
A native of Vermont, he is one of Atlanta’s secret Union sympathizers.
Others are Alfred Austell, a banker, and William Markham, who ran the iron rolling mill destroyed by the Confederates as they abandoned Atlanta.
These Unionists welcome Sherman’s occupation.
But Sherman wants no civilians in the city, no matter their loyalty.
Rawson leaves The Terraces, taking his family to Iowa.
Markham flees to New York.
Austell goes into hiding in Alabama, where he is arrested by Confederate authorities for disloyalty.
One civilian, Madison Berry, is allowed to remain in the city after obtaining a job as a clerk for the Union army... a great relief to his family.
They live not too far from the beautiful Neal residence – Sherman’s stately headquarters.
I’m Masud Olufani and this is week twenty-six.