n August 1864, Sherman started his attack on Atlanta. The Confederate general in the city was effectively surrounded. In an attempt to divert Sherman’s attention away from Atlanta, a Confederate force attacked the Unionists at Jonesboro. What interested the North the most about this attack was the poor showing of the Southern troops who seemed to show little interest and resolve.
August 9th: Atlanta was attacked by artillery fire for the first time. Sherman had no intention of making a frontal assault on the city. He planned to surround the city as best as he could, ensure no trains could supply the city and thus starve it out.
August 10th: Confederate units tried to disrupt Sherman’s supply line but he had already thought of that. Sherman had stockpiled supplies near to his front.
August 11th: Sherman continued the bombardment of Atlanta while his troops dug towards the defenders trenches.
August 18th: For the second time Grant refused an exchange of prisoners.
Sherman ordered an attack on the Macon and Western railway.
August 23rd: Fort George surrendered to Union forces. Though the port of Mobile remained In Confederate hands, the North controlled the bay. As such, Mobile could not operate as a port. Therefore the only working port left to the Confederates was Wilmington in North Carolina.
August 26th: Hood was effectively cut off in Atlanta.
August 27th: Sherman’s army effectively surrounded Atlanta. A few railways still existed but they would have been unable to supply the whole city nor would they have been able to supply Hood’s army.
August 28th: Sherman further tightened his grip on Atlanta by destroying ten miles of the West Point Road that led from Atlanta to the Alabama state line.
August 30th: The railway from Atlanta to Montgomery was cut. Now the city only had one railway to serve it, from the city to Macon.
August 31st: General George McClellan was nominated the Democrat Presidential candidate for the November election.
Near Atlanta, the South launched an attack against Union positions at Jonesboro. It was a failure but of greater importance to the Union was that those who fought at Jonesboro for the Union noticed that the Confederate attack was nothing like previous ones in terms of “weight nor persistence”. A loss of a further 2,000 men at Jonesboro (against 200 lost by the North) showed that the South was losing far too many men to be able to sustain the campaign in Atlanta.