Lead: With Atlanta in flames behind them, the army of William Tecumseh Sherman left its line of communication, turned east, and simply disappeared.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Though Atlanta was taken and lay in ruins, elsewhere the War had seemed to bog down in hopeless stalemate. Lee and Grant faced each other across the siege lines between Petersburg and Richmond. The Confederacy was gradually being exhausted by a solid blockade and the losing fight against forces too numerous to defeat. But rebel armies were still in the field and nearly everywhere intensely defiant. It was the need to address continued Confederate resistance that prompted Sherman's recommendation that he and his army be allowed to strike out across Georgia for the sea. He telegraphed a none-too-enthusiastic General Grant, "Until we can repopulate Georgia, it is useless to occupy it, but the utter destruction of its roads, houses and people will cripple their military resources....I can make the march and make Georgia howl."