Atlanta Skyline Georgia, the state's largest city, and the seat of Fulton County. It is also one of the most important commercial, financial, and transportation centers of the southeastern United States.
Located in the northern portion of the state, Atlanta enjoys a high mean elevation—1, feet m above sea level—which distinguishes it from most other southern and eastern cities and contributes to a more temperate climate than is found in areas farther south.
Sherman's instructions called for engineers to level the buildings before they were torched, but eager and careless soldiers set fire to many structures before the engineers arrived.
Railroad engineer Lemuel Grant , the chief engineer of the Confederate Department of Georgia, was responsible for fortifying the city.
Two years later the city adopted a new name—Atlanta.
Supposedly a feminine version of the word Atlantic, the name was first used by John Edgar Thomson, chief engineer of the Georgia Railroad, to designate his railroad's local depot.
Enslaved African Americans and free persons of color were part of this population, although in smaller numbers than in the older, larger port cities of the South.
The activities and freedoms of both groups of African Americans, however, were strictly controlled by laws and customs.
Many existing industries in the city were soon converted to wartime production, and newly established factories provided much-needed Confederate munitions and supplies.