Located on Forsyth Street (near the present site of the Garnett MARTA station) is the doorway to an underground bombproof shelter, one of dozens that Atlanta residents constructed in their backyards during the Union’s thirty-seven-day bombardment of the city in July and August 1864.
Historian Stephen Davis estimates that Union guns fired more than 100,000 shells into Atlanta during the siege. Nearly every major structure in the city was hit at least once by artillery fire and many buildings burned as a result. Nevertheless, due to the city’s reduced population and these backyard shelters, only about twenty-five civilians are known to have been killed in the bombardment and perhaps another forty wounded. Strategically, the bombardment did nothing to help General Sherman’s armies capture Atlanta.