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By 1846, however, two other railroad lines had converged with the Western and Atlantic in the center of town, connecting it to far-flung areas of the Southeast and spurring the city's growth.In 1843 the name of the town was changed to Marthasville, in honor of the daughter of former governor Wilson Lumpkin, who had played a key role in bringing the railroad to the area.For example, the Committee on Public Safety, organized in 1861, and the Vigilance Committee, formed the following year, focused much of their attention and energies on ferreting out suspected spies and exposing abolitionists and Union sympathizers.As a result many Unionists left the city, and most of those who remained either went underground or kept a very low profile.Sherman's capture of Atlanta in 1864 had far-ranging repercussions. It also ultimately doomed the Confederacy and its fading hopes for victory and independence.Finally, it left Atlanta burned, barren, and bankrupt.Sherman and his troops moved closer on their Atlanta campaign.From July 20 to August 25 Atlanta was subjected to a withering aerial bombardment.

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The biggest ordnance producer in the city, however, was the Confederate government arsenal, which produced percussion caps for muskets and pistols, small arms ammunition, saddles, bridles, cartridge boxes, canteens, and other military items and employed more than 5,000 men and women.Both of these actions sparked increased settlement and development in the upper Piedmont section of the state and led to Atlanta's founding.Indian removal and the discovery of gold encouraged new settlement in the region, but it was the railroad that actually brought Atlanta into being and eventually connected it with the rest of the state and region.During the Civil War Atlanta became a home front, a major producer of war materials, and an important regional transportation and distribution center.Many existing industries in the city were soon converted to wartime production, and newly established factories provided much-needed Confederate munitions and supplies.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.As a result many Atlanta homes and businesses not marked for destruction were also consumed in the fires that swept the city on November 15, 1864. presidential election victory in the fall of that year.In the process a number of civilians were killed, and property and buildings in the city were badly damaged.On September 2, 1864, Sherman's troops captured the city, and the remaining residents (about 3,500 people, according to one estimate) were ordered to evacuate.Railroad engineer Lemuel Grant, the chief engineer of the Confederate Department of Georgia, was responsible for fortifying the city.The remaining Unionists in Atlanta, whose numbers have been estimated at about 100 families, faced increased pressures to conform or leave town.

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