Georgia in the American Civil War
|State of Georgia|
|Admission to Confederacy||February 18, 1861 (5th)|
* 595,088 free
* 462,198 slave
|Forces supplied||100,000 Total
|Major garrisons/armories||Fort Pulaski Cockspur Island, Georgia|
|Governor||Joseph E. Brown|
|Senators||Benjamin Harvey Hill
John Wood Lewis, Sr.
Herschel Vespasian Johnson
|Returned to Union control||1870|
American Civil War
On January 18, 1861, Georgia seceded from the Union during the American Civil War but kept the name "State of Georgia", and joined the newly formed Confederacy in February. During the war, Georgia sent nearly 100,000 soldiers to battle, mostly to the armies in Virginia. The state switched from cotton to food production, but severe transportation difficulties eventually restricted supplies. Early in the war, the state's 1,400 miles of railroad tracks provided a frequently used means of moving supplies and men but, by the middle of 1864, much of these lay in ruins or in Union hands.
The Georgia legislature voted $100,000 to be sent to South Carolina for the relief of Charlestonians who suffered a disastrous fire in December 1861.
Thinking the state safe from invasion, the Confederates built several small munitions factories in Georgia, as well as housing tens of thousands of Union prisoners. Their largest prisoner of war camp, at Andersonville, proved a death camp because of severe lack of supplies, food, water, and medicine.
Home front 
Governor Joseph E. Brown was a leading secessionist in 1861, taking his state out of the Union and into the Confederacy. A firm believer in state's rights, he defied the national government's wartime policies. He resisted the Confederate military draft, and tried to keep as many soldiers at home as possible (to fight off invaders, he said). Brown challenged Confederate impressment of animals, goods, and slaves. Several other governors followed his lead.
Food shortages 
By summer 1861 the tight Union naval blockade virtually shut down the export of cotton and the import of manufactured item. Foods that normally came by rail from the North never arrived. The governor and legislature pleaded with planters to grow less cotton and more food. They refused, because at first they thought the Yankees would not or could not fight. Then they saw cotton prices in Europe were soaring and they expected Europe to soon intervene and break the blockade. The legislature imposed cotton quotas and made it a crime to grow an excess, but the food shortages only worsened, especially in the towns. Poor white women took matters in their own hands in more than two dozen episodes across the state when they raided stores and captured supply wagons to get such necessities as bacon, corn, flour, and cotton yarn.
As conditions at home worsened late in the war more and more soldiers came to realize their duty to protect their homes meant they had to desert and rush home.
Battles in Georgia 
Georgia was relatively free from war until late 1863. A total of nearly 550 battles and skirmishes occurred within the state, with the vast majority in the last two years of the conflict. The first major battle in Georgia was a Confederate victory at the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863—it was the last major Confederate victory in the west. In 1864 William T. Sherman's armies invaded Georgia as part of the Atlanta Campaign. Confederate general Joseph E. Johnston fought a series of delaying battles, the largest being the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, trying to delay Union armies for as long as possible as he retreated toward Atlanta. Johnston's replacement, Gen. John Bell Hood, attempted several unsuccessful counterattacks at the Battle of Peachtree Creek and the Battle of Atlanta, but Sherman captured Atlanta on September 2, 1864.
Sherman's March to the Sea 
In November Sherman stripped his army of non-essentials, and burned Atlanta and left it to the Confederates. He began his famous Sherman's March to the Sea, living off the land then burning plantations, wrecking railroads, and killing the livestock. Thousands of escaped slaves followed him as he entered Savannah on December 22. After the loss of Atlanta, the governor withdrew the state's militia from the Confederate forces to harvest crops for the state and the army. They did not try to stop Sherman.
Sherman's March was devastating to Georgia and the Confederacy in terms of economics and psychology. Sherman himself estimated that the campaign had inflicted $100 million (about $1.4 billion in 2010 dollars) in destruction, about one fifth of which "inured to our advantage" while the "remainder is simple waste and destruction." His army wrecked 300 miles (480 km) of railroad and numerous bridges and miles of telegraph lines. It seized 5,000 horses, 4,000 mules, and 13,000 head of cattle. It confiscated 9.5 million pounds of corn and 10.5 million pounds of fodder, and destroyed uncounted cotton gins and mills.
Sherman's campaign of total war extended to Georgia civilians. In July 1864, during the Atlanta campaign, General Sherman ordered approximately 400 Roswell mill workers, mostly women, arrested as traitors and shipped as prisoners to the North with their children. There is little evidence that more than a few of the women ever returned home.
The memory of Sherman's March became iconic and central to the "Myth of the Lost Cause." The crisis was the setting for Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel Gone with the Wind and the subsequent 1939 film. Most important were many "salvation stories" that tell not what Yankee soldiers destroyed, but what was saved by the quick thinking and crafty women on the home front, or perhaps was saved by a Northerners' appreciation of the beauty of homes and the charm of Southern women.
Last battles 
In December 1864 Sherman captured Savannah before leaving Georgia in January 1865 to begin his Carolinas Campaign. However, there were still several small fights in Georgia after his departure. On April 16, 1865, the Battle of Columbus, was fought on the Georgia-Alabama border. In 1935 the state legislature officially declared this engagement as the "last battle of the War Between the States." 
List of battles fought in Georgia 
Battle of Adairsville
Battle of Allatoona
Battle of Atlanta
Battle of Brown's Mill
Battle of Buck Head Creek
Battle of Chickamauga
Battle of Dallas
Battle of Dalton I
Battle of Dalton II
Battle of Davis' Cross Roads
Battle of Ezra Church
Battle of Fort McAllister (1863)
Battle of Fort McAllister (1864)
Battle of Fort Pulaski
Battle of Griswoldville
Battle of Jonesborough
Battle of Kennesaw Mountain
Battle of Kolb's Farm
Battle of Lovejoy's Station
Battle of Marietta
Battle of New Hope Church
Battle of Peachtree Creek
Battle of Pickett's Mill
Battle of Resaca
Battle of Ringgold Gap
Battle of Rocky Face Ridge
Battle of Utoy Creek
Battle of Waynesboro
Re-entry to the Union 
The war left most of Georgia devastated, with many war dead and wounded, and the state's economy in shambles. The slaves were all emancipated in 1865, and Reconstruction started immediately after the hostilities ceased. The state remained poor well into the twentieth century. Georgia did not re-enter the Union until June 15, 1870, more than two years after South Carolina was readmitted. Georgia was the last of the Confederate States to re-enter the Union.
Civil War sites in Georgia 
Today, many of Georgia's Civil War battlefields, particularly those around Atlanta, have been lost to modern urban development. However, a number of sites have been well preserved, including Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park and Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. Other Civil War related sites include Stone Mountain, Fort Pulaski, and the Atlanta Cyclorama, as well as Confederate Memorial Park.
A number of antebellum mansions and plantations in Georgia are preserved and open to the public, particularly around Atlanta and Savannah. Portions of the Civil War-era Western & Atlantic Railroad have historical markers commemorating events during the war, including several sites associated with the Andrews Raid. Another area near Atlanta with Civil War history is in the Sweet Water Creek State Park in Douglas County, Georgia. At this location is one of the last standing buildings burned by General Sherman's army, New Manchester Mill.1
- William R. Scaife and William Harris Bragg, Joe Brown's Pets: The Georgia Militia, 1862-1865 (2004)
- Joseph H. Parks, Joseph E. Brown of Georgia (1977)
- C. Mildred Thompson, Reconstruction In Georgia: Economic, Social, Political 1865-1872 (1915), pp 14-17, 22
- Teresa Crisp Williams, and David Williams, "'The Women Rising': Cotton, Class, and Confederate Georgia's Rioting Women," Georgia Historical Quarterly, (2002) 86#12 pp 49-83
- Mark A. Weitz, A Higher Duty: Desertion among Georgia Troops during the Civil War (2005)
- Noah Andre Trudeau, Southern Storm: Sherman's March to the Sea (2008)
- Mark V. Wetherington (2005). Plain Folk's Fight: The Civil War and Reconstruction in Piney Woods Georgia. U. of North Carolina Press. p. 207.
- Inflation Calculator website, accessed April 14, 2010.
- James M. McPherson (1996). Drawn with the Sword:Reflections on the American Civil War: Reflections on the American Civil War. Oxford U.P. p. 82.
- Lee Kennett, Marching through Georgia: The Story of Soldiers and Civilians During Sherman's Campaign (1995) p. 309.
- Janice Hume and Amber Roessner, "Surviving Sherman's March: Press, Public Memory, and Georgia's Salvation Mythology," Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Spring 2009, Vol. 86 Issue 1, pp 119-137
- Acts and Resolutions of the Georgia General Assembly
- Jim Miles, Civil War Sites in Georgia (2001)
See also 
Further reading 
- Brown, Barry L. and Gordon R. Elwell. Crossroads of Conflict: A Guide to Civil War Sites in Georgia (2010)
- Bryan, T. Conn. Confederate Georgia (1953), the standard scholarly survey
- DeCredico, Mary A. Patriotism for Profit: Georgia's Urban Entrepreneurs and the Confederate War Effort (1990).
- Fowler, John D. and David B. Parker, eds. Breaking the Heartland: The Civil War in Georgia (2011)
- Gourley, Bruce T. Diverging Loyalties: Baptists in Middle Georgia During the Civil War (2011)
- Harrington, Hugh T. Civil War Milledgeville: Tales from the Confederate Capital of Georgia (2005)
- Hill, Louise Biles. Joseph E. Brown and the Confederacy. (1972)
- Inscoe, John C. (2011). The Civil War in Georgia: A New Georgia Encyclopedia Companion. University of Georgia Press.
- Johnson, Michael P. Toward A Patriarchal Republic: The Secession of Georgia (1977)
- Jones, Charles Edgeworth (1909). Georgia in the War: 1861-1865. Augusta, Georgia: Foote and Davies.
- Miles, Jim. To the Sea: A History and Tour Guide of the War in the West, Sherman's March Across Georgia and Through the Carolinas, 1864-1865 (2002)
- Mohr, Clarence L. On the Threshold of Freedom: Masters and Slaves in Civil War Georgia (1986)
- Parks, Joseph H. Joseph E. Brown of Georgia (Louisiana State University Press (1977) 612 pages
- Wallenstein, Peter. "Rich Man's War, Rich Man's Fight: Civil War and the Transformation of Public Finance in Georgia," Journal of Southern History (1984) 50#1 pp 15-42 in JSTOR
- Weitz, Mark A. A Higher Duty: Desertion among Georgia Troops during the Civil War (2005); the higher duty was to protect their family excerpt and text search
- Wetherington, Mark V. Plain Folk's Fight: The Civil War and Reconstruction in Piney Woods Georgia (2009) excerpt and text search
- Whites, Lee Ann. The Civil War as a Crisis in Gender: Augusta, Georgia, 1860-1890 (2000) excerpt and text search
- Williams, David. Rich Man's War: Class, Caste, and Confederate Defeat in the Lower Chattahoochee Valley (1998), examines a fifteen-county region of southeast Alabama and southwest Georgia.
- Williams, Teresa Crisp, and David Williams. "'The Women Rising': Cotton, Class, and Confederate Georgia's Rioting Women," Georgia Historical Quarterly (2002) 86#1 pp 49-83
Primary sources 
- Bailey, Anne J. and Walter J. Fraser. Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Georgia in the Civil War (1996)
- Myers, Robert Manson, ed. The Children of Pride: A True Story of Georgia and the Civil War (1972)
- “Rebel Yell: The Civil War Diary of John Thomas Whatley, CSA”, edited by John Wilson Cowart, is the diary of a confederate soldier whose work included preparing for the defense of Savannah, Georgia. The diary documents his life from March 2, 1862, till November 27, 1864.
- A contemporary broadside of Georgias Ordinance of Secession
- Declaration of Causes of Seceding States - Ordinances of Secession of Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas
- University of Georgia website for Georgia in the Civil War
- National Park Service map of Civil War sites in Georgia
- Civil War Sites in Georgia
- This Week in Georgia Civil War History Site from GeorgiaInfo
- Cobb County Civil War historical markers on a map.