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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

August 26, 1864

Sherman Marching Around Atlanta

The inhabitants of Atlanta woke to find the Union siege of the city apparently lifted. Many believed the empty trenches north of the city meant that Union General William T. Sherman had given up on the siege and that Atlanta was saved. In reality, Sherman had launched a new strategy - or a new version of the same strategy he had used to get to Atlanta in the first place. Some of the Union forces previously entrenched north of Atlanta were now deployed to guard the Western & Atlantic railroad bridge crossing the Chattahoochee River, protecting the Union supply lines. But most of the troops were sent on a flanking movement around the western perimeter of Atlanta. Their goal was to organize far enough south of Atlanta that Confederate General John Bell Hood would be forced to pull his Confederate forces out of the city.