Atlanta, Georgia Falls

By late August, the Union army had been within three miles of Atlanta for more than a month.  Confederate lines were stretched for 15 miles to protect the city.  At this point, General Sherman decided it was time for action.  He had only a weeks’ supply of grain for his animals and three weeks’ supply of rations for his men.

On August 31, Sherman abandoned his siege of Atlanta and launched an attack to force the Confederate army either to attack or retreat.  Sherman ordered his supply wagons north of the Chattahoochee River and guarded by the XX Corps.  He then moved is army west of Jonesboro cutting the Confederate railroad into Atlanta.

The loss of the railroad forced the Confederate army to  evacuate Atlanta on September 1.  The following morning, the Union army’s XX Corps occupied the city.  General Sherman learned of the capture on September 3.

The capture of Atlanta ended Sherman’s Atlanta campaign.  Sherman reported the capture in a wire to Washington, D.C. on September 3 - “So Atlanta is ours and fairly won.  I shall not push much farther on this raid, but in a day or so will march to Atlanta and give my men some rest.  Since May 5, we have been in one constant battle or skirmish, and need rest.”

Sherman began the Atlanta campaign with 110,000 men.  His armies suffered about 37,000 casualties.  The Confederate strength was about 70,000.  Their losses were about 10,000 under General Johnston and about 20,000 under Hood.

During much of the siege of Atlanta the 61st OVI, including Robert Patterson, operated around the Chattahoochee River bridge.  When Atlanta fell, they moved into a camp on the east side of the city.  They would remain there until November 15 when it started with General Sherman’s army on its “march to the sea.”

The fall of Atlanta left little doubt that the Confederacy would be defeated in the Civil War.  It was also instrumental in President Abraham Lincoln’s re-election in November 1864.

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Save the Date: Great Wright Brothers Aero Carnival on Sept. 6

Please save the date for the Great Wright Brothers Aero Carnival on Saturday, September 6, 2014, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field. Everyone is invited to this free event hosted by the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, National Park Service.

Great Wright Brothers Aero Carnival banner

Graphic courtesy of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park , National Park Service

Activities throughout the day will include:

  • Aircraft Displays
  • Piper J 3 Cub
  • Curtis-Wright Travel Air 4000
  • Zenith 701SP
  • Eroupe 415C
  • Aeronca 7AC Champ
  • Am. Inst. Of Aeronautics & Astronautics
  • Balloon Animals noon – 4:00pm
  • Bicycle Museum of America
  • Bouncy Houses and Games from Outdoor Recreation
  • Carillon Historical Park
  • Caesar Creek Soaring Club
  • Citizens Motor Car Museum
  • Dayton Cycling Club
  • Environmental Management
  • Five Rivers Metro Parks
  • Flyover by the Wright B
  • Food Vendor from Greene Co. Cattleman’s Association
  • Hay Rides
  • Nature Conservancy
  • Paul Glenshaw – presentations at the replica hangar at 11:40am and 2:00pm
  • Photo Contest – winners announced at 1:30pm
  • Puppet Shows
  • Radio Controlled Flying
  • Riverside Historical Society
  • Sheep Herding from the Learning Tree Farm
  • Silent Movies
  • Simulator
  • S.P.A.R. K. Radio Club Team
  • Ohio Rocketry
  • Wright B Flyer Inc.
  • Wright Sea Plane Base
  • Wright State University Special Collections & Archives

We hope to see you there!

View the original announcement from Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, National Park Service.

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“Bad News” from William

In this August 26, 1864, William Patterson writes his mother that he has “a little rather bad news.”  His unit has just received orders from Washington, D.C. that no more officers will be mustered out of service. He notes that half of the officers are already gone and the rest will have to stay in place until “the powers that be see fit to discharge us all.”  If he is required to stay on active duty, he speculates that he may be sent to Ohio and assigned to a new regiment that is now forming.

William notes that the decision to stop the mustering out of officers is pretty hard, particularly on those officers who had gone home last winter and got married.  In his case, he takes a philosophical view.  If he is killed or maimed, he “won’t begrudge the Country the services I have rendered it.  I have got all my papers pertaining to the Government all square up to this month and could go home in October with colors flying and also say that I have done my duty to the best of my ability.”

Finally, William reports he heard from Robert and he was  well  He also notes that his younger brother, John Patterson, is probably home now from his tour of duty in Washington, D.C. and that he hopes he will not be drafted to serve again.

Transcript of William Patterson letter, August 26, 1864.

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