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In Their Own Words

May 23, 1864

Atlanta Males Called for Defense

Realizing that Confederate forces had been unable to stop Sherman’s march on the city, Atlanta mayor James M. Calhoun issued the following proclamation:

“In view of the dangers which threaten us, and in pursuance of a call made by General Wright and General Wayne, I require all the male citizens of Atlanta, capable of bearing arms, without regard to occupation, who are not in the Confederate or State service, to report by 12 M. [noon], on Thursday, the 26th inst. [instant] to O.H. Jones, marshal of the city, to be organized into companies and armed, and to report to General Wright when organized. And all male citizens who are not willing to defend their homes and families are requested to leave the city at their earliest convenience, as their presence only embarrasses the authorities and tends to the demoralization of others.”

Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969 reprint of original 1954 volume), Vol. I, p. 589.