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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.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.
Issues of race and race relations, dating back to the years before the Civil War (1861-65), have affected the layout of the city and its political structure, municipal services, educational institutions, and sometimes conflicting images as a segregated southern city and a "black mecca." And the Atlanta spirit—part civic boosterism, part vision, with a healthy dose of business interests and priorities—has provided the city with an ever-changing set of goals and definitions of what Atlanta is and what it can become.important developments in the 1830s: the forcible removal of Native Americans (principally Creeks and Cherokees) from northwest Georgia and the extension of railroad lines into the state's interior.
Located in the northern portion of the state, Atlanta enjoys a high mean elevation—1,050 feet (320m) 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.
The three dominant forces affecting Atlanta's history and development have been transportation, race relations, and the "Atlanta spirit." At each stage in the city's development, these three elements have come into play.
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.
census, the population of Atlanta is 420,003, although the metropolitan area (comprising twenty-eight counties and more than 6,000 square miles) has a population of more than 5.2 million.During the Civil War Atlanta became a home front, a major producer of war materials, and an important regional transportation and distribution center.