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In Their Own Words

July 23, 1864

Bombardment Described in Journal

From Atlanta, merchant Samuel Richards recorded in his journal what life was like in the city in the midst of the Union artillery bombardment:

“We have had a considerable taste of the beauties of bombardment today. The enemy have thrown a great many shells into the city and scared the women and children and some of the men pretty badly. One shell fell in the street just below our house [Washington and Fair streets] and threw gravel in our windows. This seems to me to be a very barbarous mode of carrying on war, throwing shells among women and children. The city authorities required me to do police duty, and I had to stand on guard on McDonough St. [Capitol Avenue] from 8 to 10 and 2 till 4 this night, and carried a musket for the first time in my life. My wife and children had to put their beds on the floor behind the chimney to be secure from shells which were thrown into the city all night long. No more fell near our house, however, and but will damage was done anywhere.”

Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1954), Vol. I, p. 622.