“We are not only fighting armies but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war.”
"All that has gone on before is mere skirmishing---The War now begins.” Sherman to his wife before taking Atlanta.
"Sallie and I walked out Marietta street this morning to see the devastation caused by the bombardment, and truly that part of the city is badly cut up." Sam Richards, August 29, 1864.
At the same time destruction of rail lines outside Atlanta rendered the city useless as a Confederate source for munitions and weapons. Die-hard residents were in danger of starvation as supplies were halted. General Hood pulled all Southern troops out of the city on September 2, leaving it open to Union occupation.
Confederate General John Bell Hood (1831-1879), Brady Studios
Hood had given responsibility for moving a trainload of ammunition and armaments out of Atlanta but despite repeated instructions his quartermaster, Colonel M. B. McMicken failed to act.
"He had more than ample time to remove the whole.... I am reliably informed that he is too much addicted to drink of late to attend to his duties." General John Bell Hood, September 4, 1864.
"The Ammunition Train was fired and for half an hour or more an incessant discharge was kept up that jarred the ground and broke the glass in the windows around." First person account: September 1
The fictional Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara leaving the burning city
Well, Margaret Mitchell will tell you what happened next. One of the most memorable scenes in movie history is Gone With the Wind's burning of Atlanta after Hood ordered the munitions cars destroyed. The explosions set the factories (and a good deal of the neighborhood) afire. Neighbors had been warned to leave.
Above the cutting instructions for 10" and 15" blocks.