The city of Atlanta Georgia was an important rail and commercial center during the American Civil War. Atlanta was relatively small in population. The city became a critical point of contention during the Atlanta Campaign in 1864, when a powerful Union army approached from American-held Tennessee. The fall of Atlanta was a critical point in the Civil War. It gave the North a moral boost. It helped boost the popularity ratings just enough for the re-election of President Abraham Lincoln, and the eventual surrender of the Confederacy.