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This Day in Georgia History

August 29, 1864

Union Troops Destroyed Railroad Tracks

While advancing around Atlanta’s western perimeter, Sherman’s Army had reached the tracks of the Western & West Point Railroad on the previous evening. Sherman ordered his men to spend the entire day of August 29 pulling up over 12 miles of track between Red Oak and Fairburn to the west. In Sherman’s words: “The track was heaved up in sections the length of a regiment, then separated rail by rail; bonfires were made of the ties and of fence-rails on which the rolls were heated, carried to trees or telegraph poles, wrapped around and left to cool.” Thus were the instructions for what Union soldiers called “Sherman’s neckties”.