From the classic civil war romance novel Gone with the Wind to the legendary “March to the Sea,” Atlanta’s legacy in the conflict will never be forgotten. Originally named “Terminus,” the area that is now known as Atlanta became a major railroad hub before the civil war. Due to its major role in transportation and commerce, Atlanta was vital for the Confederacy’s military operations. For this reason, Atlanta also became a major target for the Union soldiers. In 1864, General William T. Sherman and the Union soldiers captured the city during the “Battle for Atlanta.” The fall of Atlanta would be a major catalyst for the re-election of President Lincoln, and ultimately lead to the defeat of the Confederacy. Sherman marched his army out of Atlanta, south to Savannah, to launch what would become the infamous “March to the Sea.” Take a tour of Atlanta and its surrounding areas and discover where some of the most pivotal moments of the civil war took place.
Before General Sherman and Union soldiers reached Atlanta, battles erupted throughout Roswell, an area north of Atlanta. Roswell was a town centered around fabric mills which supplied clothing to Confederate soldiers during the war. Sherman ordered his soldiers to destroy mills and arrest the workers. Today, visitors travel to Roswell to get a peek at the antebellum homes that have been restored and the Smith Plantation Home. Before it was restored as a museum, the Smith Plantation, built by slave labor in 1845, was the home of the Smiths – one of the founding families of Roswell. Many of the original furnishings, including slave quarters, a grand piano, barn, kitchen and carriage house, are all beautifully intact. Guided tours are available to all visitors.