Battle of Atlanta began on July 22, 1864. Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, one of
Sherman's and Grant's favorite commanders, led the main Union force, under the
Army of the Tennessee, in the battle. Confederate Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood
lashed out at Sherman's army at Peachtree Creek but failed miserably.
Outnumbered by Union troops, Hood faced two problems: he needed to defend Atltanta, a very important rail hub and industrial center for the Confederacy and he had a small army. The Battle of Atlanta was a severe defeat for Hood's army. Nonetheless, Hood and his army held the city. Sherman continued his siege of Atlanta, hitting the civilian population and sending raids west and south to cut off supply lines from Macon, Georgia. On August 31, Sherman's army captured the railroad. On Sept.2, a committee of Mayor James Calhoun and a group of Union-leaning citizens surrendered the city.
Sherman sent a telegram to Washington saying, "Atlanta is ours and fairly won" and he established his headquarters there on Sept. 7, where he stayed for two months. He ordered the entire city evacuated. His army then burned the town to the ground and departed East on what would become known as Sherman's March to the sea.
Offered here is a one-page 8" x 9 3/4" circular issued on behalf of Major General George Thomas written and signed by Southard Hoffman, Atlanta, GA, September 19, 1864, twelve days after Sherman established his headquarters in Atlanta.
"Special field Orders No. 67...defines clearly the steps necessary to be taken to procure a permit to tear down Houses, Barns, Sheds, etc. within the lines surrounding this city for the purpose of building quarters...storehouses, etc, viz applications to Col. S.C. Easton, Chief Quarter Master...No building should be destroyed without such permit...SFO [special field orders] also directs that applications for assignment of quarters within the lines should be made likewise to Col. Easton and his permission obtained for the occupation of any building. Corps Divisions & Brigade Commanders will see that these provisions of S.F.O. No. 67 are strictly obeyed in their respective commands. By Command of Maj. Gen. Thomas. Signed Southard Hoffman."