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Fulton County Historical Markers

The Burning and Destruction of Atlanta


  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: The Burning and Destruction of Atlanta
  • Location: Near the old Georgia Rail Depot on Central Ave, Atlanta

The Burning and Destruction of Atlanta

After capturing Atlanta in September 1864 during the Civil War, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, before leaving Atlanta on the March to the Sea, ordered the destruction of all railroads, factories, and commercial buildings of possible use to the Confederacy. On Nov. 11, 1864, Chief Engineer Orlando M. Poe directed the demolition of stone and brick buildings using specially made battering rams. On Nov. 15, Poe’s troops burned the wooden buildings in the downtown business district around the site of this marker. Though houses and churches were not targeted, some were burned nonetheless. Many houses had already been dismantled by both armies to make way for fortifications. Contrary to popular myth only 40 percent of Atlanta was left in ruins.

2011.9 Erected for the Civil War 150 commemoration by the Georgia Historical Society and the Georgia Department of Economic Development 60-9