Austin Civil War Round Table

Our Next Meeting

When: Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Who: Stephen Davis

Where: Covenant Presbyterian Church, 3003 Northland Drive


Like Chicago from Mrs. O Leary's cow, or San Francisco from the earthquake of 1906, Atlanta has earned distinction as one of the most burned cities in American history. During the Civil War, Atlanta was wrecked, but not by burning alone. By late July 1864, Northern artillerymen, on Sherman's direct orders, began shelling the interior of Atlanta, knowing that civilians –- including women and children -- still lived there. Lives were lost and countless buildings were damaged by Northern missiles and the fires they caused.

The Yankees took Atlanta in early September by cutting its last railroad, which caused Confederate forces to evacuate and allowed Sherman s troops to march in the next day. During the Federal army's two and a half-month occupation of the city, Sherman's troops continued to wreck the town, stripping houses and tearing other structures down for wood to build their shanties and huts. Before setting out on his march to the sea, Sherman directed his engineers to demolish the city's railroad complex and what remained of its industrial plant. By the time the Union army marched out on November 11, deliberate arson, often committed against orders by Northern soldiers, left much of Atlanta a smoking ruin.

Relying on contemporary newspaper accounts more than any previous scholar, Stephen Davis has put together an extensive account of the Federal shelling of Atlanta. Steve earned his Ph.D at Emory University, and studied under the renowned Civil War historian Bell Wiley. Steve is the author of a book on the Atlanta Campaign, Atlanta Will Fall: Sherman, Joe Johnston and the Heavy Yankee Battalions (2001). He served as Book Review Editor for Blue and Gray Magazine from 1994 to 2005, and is the author of more than a hundred articles in such scholarly and popular publications as Civil War Times Illustrated and the Georgia Historical Quarterly. His recent book, What the Yankees Did to Us: Sherman’s Bombardment and Wrecking of Atlanta, was published by Mercer University Press in 2012. Please help us welcome Steve to Austin!

Program Location and Details

The meeting will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 3003 Northland Drive. Covenant Presbyterian Church is located at the southeast corner of Northland Drive and Mopac Expressway (Loop 1). To reach Covenant via Mopac, take the RM 2222/Northland exit, then proceed east on Northland Drive. Covenant is on your immediate right.To reach Covenant via I-35, take the FM 2222 West, 238A exit. After you exit on the frontage road, proceed west on Koenig/2222. Head west through Lamar Blvd and Burnet Rd. After Burnet Rd, Koenig becomes Allandale Rd. After you cross Shoal Creek Pkwy, Allandale Rd becomes Northland Drive. Covenant is on Northland Dr on the left before you reach Mopac Expy.

Austin Civil War Round Table - Map of Covenant Church

6:30- 7:15 p.m.    Dinner and Socializing

7:15 - 8:45 p.m.    Announcements/Speaker

8:45 - 9:00 p.m.    Questions and Closing Remarks


Glazed pork tenderloin, green beans and mushrooms, field greens with cranberries, rolls and butter, apple turnovers, coffee, tea, and water. The cost of dinner will be $15. To attend the meeting only, the charge is $5 (For non-members, the first meeting is free, and subsequent meetings are $10).


Please RSVP by 12 Noon on Tuesday, September 16, by contacting our electronic mailbox via telephone at (512) 916-3412. If you must cancel your reservation, you must do so at least 48 hours in advance or you will be responsible for the costs incurred. Also, please let us know if you are attending the meeting but do not plan to join us for dinner. Thanks!


Meeting Schedule for 2014-2015

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