The Battle of Atlanta—150 Years Later

Atlanta Civil War Timeline

At the Civil War’s outset, few could have predicted that Atlanta would play such a pivotal part in the conflict’s outcome. A small town when the war began, Atlanta grew in importance thanks to its factories and railroad hub, doubling in population by 1864. But even as General William T. Sherman moved into Georgia that spring, his objective wasn’t the town near the train tracks, but rather the tracks themselves—and the vital supplies they carried to the Confederacy.


For eight hours on the blazing day of July 22, 1864, 74,000 young men fought on the rolling terrain of southeast Atlanta. As the cannon smoke cleared and each side retreated, the four-mile-long field of combat held the bodies of more than 12,000 dead or wounded soldiers. Read more from deputy editor Rebecca Burns about how the events of war shaped Atlanta

Atlanta’s Civil War sites: Then and now

Several years ago, photographer Gregg Segal started a series that juxtaposes “an idealized Civil War embodied by period re-enactors” with “the commercialism of contemporary life.” We commissioned Segal to add to his series with photographs at sites from the Atlanta Campaign.