It was on this day (September 2) in the year 1864 that General William Tecumseh Sherman occupied Atlanta. City officials wrote Sherman an impassioned note pleading for mercy on the city. Sherman replied, "War is cruelty, and it can not be refined." With this he proceeded to burn and sack the city. This photograph shows some of his troops as they destroy a railroad. The smoke of the burning city can be seen in the background. Sherman then proceeded with his famed March to the Sea, in which he destroyed everything in his path from Atlanta to the Ocean.