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Week 28

(October 27th - November 2nd)

It is late October, 1864. Sherman’s photographer, George Barnard, climbs atop the Atlanta Female Institute to snap a panoramic view of the city. Though the scene appears peaceful, munition factories and railroad depots are discernible in the hazy distance. The Union army builds fortifications within the city while tearing down many homes and buildings, disconcerting even to some in the Union army.

 

Episode Transcript

I’m Masud Olufani for the Atlanta History Center.
It is October 1864.
George Barnard, Sherman’s photographer, climbs with his camera to the top of Atlanta’s female institute.

The three-story school for young women sits atop a hill. Its rooftop provides a panoramic view of the occupied city.

The peaceful scene is deceptive – the munitions factories and railroad depots seem far away – though discernable in the hazy distance.

Following damage from a month of shelling, the demolition of Atlanta continues as the union army builds fortifications within the city.

Ten-year-old Carrie Berry writes that her mama and papa, “took a walk this evening and they say they never saw a place torn up like Atlanta …. Half of the houses are torn down.”

The female institute, too, is destroyed to make way for a Union fort –
And its bricks used to build chimneys for the army’s winter quarters.

Even Orlando Poe – Sherman’s chief engineer and the man responsible for the demolition – had hoped to save the female institute.

But in late October, it is pulled down –creating an awful crash.

“It seems a pity to destroy such buildings,” writes Union Sergeant Rufus Mead,
“…. Such is the work of ruthless war.”
I’m Masud Olufani and this is week twenty eight.

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