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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Atlanta in Fulton County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Georgia Railroad Freight Depot

An Enduring Symbol of Atlanta

 

— Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails —

 
Georgia Railroad Freight Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 10, 2019
1. Georgia Railroad Freight Depot Marker
Inscription.  This building, completed in 1869 and renovated in 1981, stands on the site of the first Georgia Railroad Freight Depot, one of the major railroad structures in downtown Atlanta during the Civil War. In 1860 Atlanta was Georgia's 4th largest city, with fewer than 10,000 residents. Yet Atlanta was the state's most important transportation hub. From Atlanta the Georgia Railroad went east to Augusta, the Western & Atlantic Railroad ran north to Chattanooga, the Macon & Western Railroad headed south to Macon and the Atlanta & West Point Railroad traveled southwest to Montgomery. In this area of downtown all four railroads converged. Travelers moving from one line to another did so at the huge passenger depot called the “Car Shed.” In the several surrounding blocks the railroads had their locomotive roundhouses and freight depots. Warehoused goods were stored for loading onto other lines.

During the Civil War, Atlanta became a major manufacturing center for military supplies. The Confederate government leased numerous warehouses for storage and the railroads transported these vital supplies to the Southern armies.

After

Marker in green bushes with part of the downtown Atlanta skyline in background. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 10, 2019
2. Marker in green bushes with part of the downtown Atlanta skyline in background.
the armies of Union Major General William T. Sherman captured Atlanta on September 2, 1864, they occupied the city for more than two months. On November 7th Sherman directed his engineers to demolish all munitions factories and railroad facilities. Federal soldiers destroyed locomotives and cars, wrecked machine shops, tore down warehouses and punched the Car Shed with a special battering ram. On November 15th they began setting fire to other structures. Many downtown stores, hotels and the concert hall were all burned.

Following the Federal army's departure from Atlanta on November 15th and 16th on their “March to the Sea” a Confederate military report noted, “The car shed, the depots, the machine shops, foundries, rolling mills, merchant mills, arsenals, laboratory, armory, etc., were all burned.” Most private homes and churches escaped the flames although some were destroyed during the preceding months fighting.

One end of this second Georgia Railroad Freight Depot was originally three stories high with a cupola. Fire destroyed that portion in 1935. Built of brick with Stone Mountain granite and a Polk County roof, it is 50 feet wide with its length including 54 feet of office space and 224 feet as the freight warehouse room. It is among the oldest buildings in downtown Atlanta.
 
Erected by

The Georgia Railroad Freight Depot image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 10, 2019
3. The Georgia Railroad Freight Depot
Marker can be seen next to the right bush in foreground.
Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc. (Marker Number 32.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Railroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Georgia Civil War Trails series list.
 
Location. 33° 45.094′ N, 84° 23.335′ W. Marker is in Atlanta, Georgia, in Fulton County. Marker can be reached from Lower Alabama Street near 65 M.L.K. Jr Drive SW. Located near the Steve Polk Plaza. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 617 Lower Alabama Street, Atlanta GA 30303, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Georgia Railroad Freight Depot (a few steps from this marker); The Burning and Destruction of Atlanta (within shouting distance of this marker); The Eternal Flame Of The Confederacy (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Immaculate Conception Church (about 400 feet away); Historic Ground (about 700 feet away); John Brown Gordon (about 700 feet away); Replica of the Statue of Liberty (about 700 feet away); Fulton County (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Atlanta.
 
Regarding Georgia Railroad Freight Depot. The depot is available as a rental venue space.
 
Another nearby marker about the Battle of Atlanta. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 10, 2019
4. Another nearby marker about the Battle of Atlanta.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 12, 2019. It was originally submitted on November 12, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 92 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 12, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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Nov. 27, 2020