Today in 1864, the City of Atlanta, Georgia, fell to the Yankees. Gen. Sherman had made good on his promises to destroy everything in his path, destruction from which the devastated South would take years and years to recover. The archived photos of Atlanta burning have to be seen to be believed, and the brilliant (for its time) filming in Gone With the Wind give a good interpretation of how it must have been.
Over the weekend we missed talking of August 29, which marked the Battle of Second Manassas (Second Bull Run to the north) which was, again, a Confederate victory. If you ever have the chance to walk across that battlefield and see the various sites that stand out in the struggle, you’ll gain a better perspective of what the men on both sides faced.
I was lucky enough many years ago to be gifted with an original set of the Confederate Military History. One day while doing some Manassas research preparatory to talk on it, I hit several places in the volume with brown, spidery writing up and down the wide margins — after transcribing (which at times was really difficult) I realized I was reading the chicken scratching type handwriting of a man who had actually been there — the apparent earliest owner of the books. His first hand descriptions made the hair rise on the back of your neck.
Anyone in the area should walk Manassas some day, even as we did on a 98 degree summer day, where you can feel the spirits of those who marched there long before.