This is really strange. This says that the city of Atlanta surrendered to the north. Sherman's northern troops occupied it for two months, then decided to burn it to the ground.
What was the point of that? Who ordered Sherman to do such an awful thing and why? And, who allowed or directed Sherman's 'scorched earth policy' of the south? I guess we have to take a close look at Lincoln and Sherman. Sherman's capture of Atlanta assured Lincoln's re-election.
In 1864, the city, as feared by Gilmer, did indeed become the target of a major Union invasion (the subject of the 1939 film Gone with the Wind). The area now covered by metropolitan Atlanta was the scene of several fiercely contested battles, including the Battle of Peachtree Creek, the Battle of Atlanta, and the Battle of Ezra Church. On September 1, 1864, Confederate General John Bell Hood evacuated Atlanta, after a four-month siege mounted by Union General William Sherman and ordered all public buildings and possible Union assets destroyed.
On September 2, a committee of Mayor James Calhoun and Union-leaning citizens William Markham, Jonathan Norcross, and Edward Rawson met a captain on the staff of Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum and surrendered the city. Sherman sent a telegram to Washington reading, "Atlanta is ours, and fairly won" and he established his headquarters there on September 7, where he stayed for two months. That same day, Sherman ordered the civilian population to evacuate. His forces occupied the city for several months, and he then ordered Atlanta burned to the ground
on November 11 in preparation for his punitive march south. After a plea by Father Thomas O'Reilly of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Sherman did not burn the city's churches or hospitals. However, the remaining war resources were then destroyed in the aftermath and in Sherman's March to the Sea. As General Sherman departed Atlanta at 7:00 a.m. on November 15 with the bulk of his army, he noted his handiwork:
The fall of Atlanta was especially noteworthy for its political ramifications. Former Union General George B. McClellan was running against President Lincoln on a peace platform in the 1864 election. Part of the Democratic platform called for a truce with the Confederates. Had this truce been achieved, it is highly unlikely that the war could ever have been restarted. However, the capture of Atlanta and Hood's burning of many military facilities as he evacuated were extensively covered by Northern newspapers, and significantly boosted Northern morale. Lincoln was re-elected by a comfortable margin.
Federal soldiers continued to occupy Atlanta for the rest of the war. With the Confederacy's dwindling resources and military strength, the Confederate army was never in a position to retake the city. Periodic cavalry raids continued on Union supply lines in the general vicinity for some time.
Following the war, the Federal troops remained in Atlanta to help enforce the provisions of Reconstruction.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta_in_the_Civil_War
Now if we also take a closer look at Sherman, we find that his father died when he was young, leaving his mother penniless and he was raised by a whig neighbor. We also find this very strange and interesting factoid about Sherman's ancestry.
NOTE: Henry Sherman, who lived in England in the 1500s, was the ancestor of most of the individuals in this article. His immigrating grandchildren and great-grandchildren included Edmund Sherman (ancestor of William T. Sherman), Philip Sherman (ancestor of James S. Sherman), John Sherman (ancestor of Roger Sherman), Mrs. Phebe Whiting Barnard, Mrs. Mary Angier Sparhawk, and Edmund Angier. Both of the candidates in the 2004 US presidential election, George W. Bush and John Kerry, are descended from Henry Sherman, along with Bush's father, former president George H. W. Bush. Other US political figures descended from Henry Sherman include William Taft, Herbert Hoover, Aaron Burr, William Wheeler, and Elliot Richardson (the last of these descended twice from Henry Sherman). Foreign figures descended from Henry Sherman include Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, Sir Robert Laird Borden, and Sir Winston Churchill. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldwin%2C_Hoar_%26_Sherman_family