Atlanta in The American Civil War - Atlanta As A Target

Atlanta As A Target

Concerned after the Vicksburg Campaign that Atlanta would be a logical target for future Union Army attacks, the Confederate Chief of the Engineer Bureau Jeremy F. Gilmer contacted Atlanta businessman and entrepreneur Lemuel P. Grant and asked him to survey possible enemy crossings of the Chattahoochee River, a broad waterway that offered some protection from an approach from the north. Grant soon complied. After a thorough investigation and survey, Grant explained to Gilmer that fortifying Atlanta would be as difficult as that of Richmond, Virginia, due to the many possible approaches an enemy army could take. However, Gilmer gave him the approval to develop a plan to ring the city with forts and earthworks along all the key approaches to Atlanta.


Grant planned a series of 17 redoubts forming a 10-mile (16 km) circle over a mile (1.6 km) out from the center of town. These would be interlinked with a series of earthworks and trenches, along with rows of abatis and other impediments to enemy troops. Construction on the extensive defensive works began in August 1863. They were bounded on the north on high ground (the present location of the Fox Theatre), the west by Ashby Street, the south by McDonough Drive and the east by what is today known as Grant Park. Gilmer inspected the completed work in December 1863 and gave his approval, because of how the subsequent Atlanta Campaign unfolded, much of these fortifications were never really put to the test.

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Famous quotes containing the word target:

    But this we know, the obstacle that checked
    And tripped the body, shot the spirit on
    Further than target ever showed or shone.
    Robert Frost (1874–1963)