Historical Society unveiling marker for burning of Atlanta

ATLANTA – The Georgia Historical Society on Monday will unveil a new historical maker commemorating the burning of Atlanta during the Civil War.

“Before leaving Atlanta on the March to the Sea, (Union Gen. William T. Sherman) ordered the destruction of all railroads, factories, and commercial buildings of possible use to the Confederacy,” the marker reads.

“On Nov. 11, 1864, Chief Engineer Orlando M. Poe directed the demolition of stone and brick buildings using specially made battering rams,” the marker reads. “On Nov. 15, Poe’s troops burned the wooden buildings in the downtown business district around the site of this marker.”

By the end of the war, roughly 40 percent of the city was in ruins.

The new marker will be located near the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The Georgia chapter of the NAACP disagreed with the location of the marker, saying it shouldn’t be located in “the heart of the civil rights historic district,” according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article.

During Monday’s ceremony, W. Todd Groce, the Georgia Historical Society’s president and CEO, will provide some historical context about the events leading up to the burning of Atlanta. U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., will provide the keynote address and Kennesaw State University’s Hermina Glass-Avery will speak to the city’s demographic and geographic landscapes in 1864.

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