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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

November 12, 1864

Preparations for March to the Sea Continued

General William T. Sherman continued preparing for his March to the Sea by ordering railroads and telegraph lines connecting Atlanta with northwest Georgia be destroyed. The Western & Atlantic Railroad’s bridge over the Chattahoochee River was burned. His army would be cut off from supplies in Chattanooga and would be on its own during its march to Savannah - all supplies would come from the land and people of Georgia, as his soldiers were instructed to “forage liberally on the country during the march.”

One of Sherman’s soldiers wrote in his diary about the day’s activities - which started very early; he saw some destruction from previous battles.

“Up at 2 A.M. had breakfast at 3 AM were under way at the appointed time our Brigade having the advance. Reached Cassville by daylight. The place was burned by our troops last Summer and presented nothing but a mass of ruins. Only two houses are standing and they are churches. Reached Cartersville at 10 AM where we halted several hours. Everything at Cartersville has been destroyed today Quite a number of wagons were burned and enough medical supplies to last a Division 3 months. Some of the brave heroes who fell at Allatoona were buried here. Col [Colonel] Bedfield Capt [Captain] Agors & c. [et cetera] We passed through the famous ‘Allatoona pass’ this afternoon. - If Sherman had attempted to reach Atlanta through this ‘pass’ he certainly would have been defeated. Reached Allatoona at 3 P.M. Passed over the battle ground of Oct 4th and 5th which still presents many evident signs of a hard fought battle. …” Source: Cornelius C. Platter, Civil War Diary, 1864-1865