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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.
Sherman and his troops moved closer on their Atlanta campaign.
From July 20 to August 25 Atlanta was subjected to a withering aerial bombardment.
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.
Two years later the city adopted a new name—Atlanta.
Supposedly a feminine version of the word Atlantic, the name was first used by John Edgar Thomson, chief engineer of the Georgia Railroad, to designate his railroad's local depot.In 1837 engineers for the Western and Atlantic Railroad (a state-sponsored project) staked out a point on a ridge about seven miles east of the Chattahoochee River as the southern end of a rail line they planned to build south from Chattanooga, Tennessee.The town that emerged around this zero milepost was called Terminus, which literally means "end of the line." Had this remained the town's only rail connection, Atlanta might well have stayed a small, end-of-the-line frontier town.Governor Lumpkin, on the other hand, is said to have maintained that the city's new name was yet another tribute to his daughter, whose middle name was Atalanta, although this story appears to be to 9,554 people and was already the fourth largest city in the state.Enslaved African Americans and free persons of color were part of this population, although in smaller numbers than in the older, larger port cities of the South.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.