the histories of our streets

Georgia State University students map Atlanta's past

Tag: Antebellum and Civil War

The Battle of Atlanta

In a Time Long Ago…

A War Department map detailing the locations of major fighting around Atlanta in July of 1864, with Confederate earthworks in black and Federal Earthworks in red. Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

For many residents of Atlanta’s Eastside, US-23 (or Moreland Avenue) is the backbone of their community. It connects the vibrant cultural hubs of Little Five Points and East Atlanta Village to a myriad of classic Eastside neighborhoods such as Candler Park and East Atlanta. While this route may be a high-traffic residential road today, in 1864 it was little more than undeveloped farmland—unremarkable in every way except its role as the dividing line between Fulton and Dekalb counties. However, as Sherman’s Federal armies made their way towards Atlanta, this undistinguished strip of land would become the site of some of the fiercest fighting experienced by participants of the Atlanta Campaign in the American Civil War. While this clash of arms took place in an area that was, at the time, southeast of the city limits, the action which centered around Federal fortifications at Bald Hill came to be known both to its contemporaries and historians as the Battle of Atlanta. The Battle of Atlanta, though a fierce and bloody contest, would prove inconsequential to the fate of the city and today is a forgotten relic of Atlanta’s past, its historical markers serving as the only testaments to this tremendous folly of war.

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Oakland Cemetery Origins

Oakland Cemetery Entrance. Photo by John Chapman (4 April, 2016)

Oakland Cemetery Entrance. Photo by John Chapman (4 April, 2016)

Oakland Cemetery serves as one of the key landmarks of antebellum Atlanta, Georgia. Oakland Cemetery sits in stark contrast to the rest of the city with its towering trees, rather than towering building, and its old brick roads rather than hot black asphalt. Oakland Cemetery serves as a monument to Georgia’s past while simultaneously growing and morphing with the present. It is general knowledge that some of the city’s most influential characters, such as Margaret Mitchell and Bobby Jones, lay at rest within its walls and it is the oldest cemetery in Atlanta. However, who in the city knows about the erection of the eastern wall or the problems that had to be handled in Oakland’s early years? A great deal of Oakland’s history remains a mystery to the people of Atlanta and throughout this analysis I will shed light on its origin story. Continue reading

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