Confederate fortifications in front of Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 1864.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Albumen print by G N Barnard, from the album asembled by John Downes Rochfort. Rochfort visited all the major American Civil War sites in 1867 and some of the photographs he purchased en route have since become some of that war's best known images. The Confederates under Joseph Johnston delayed the advance into Georgia of William T Sherman's larger Union army in mid 1864. By August however, Sherman was on the offensive. Atlanta fell on 1st September 1864, greatly boosting Union morale. The city was badly damaged by fires started by Sherman's army when they moved on in November. They marched on through the state to reach the sea at Savannah, leaving a trail of destruction 300 miles long and 60 miles wide behind them.