The Battle of Atlanta was painted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the studios of the American Panorama Company. The company, established in 1883, was commissioned to produce two Civil War cycloramas - the Battle of Missionary Ridge (1883-84) and the Battle of Atlanta (1885-86) as well as a series on biblical themes.
Company manager William Wehner went to Europe to find artists with the necessary skills. He selected a group of German artists with experience in European cyclorama painting and brought them to Milwaukee. Some of the artists had worked on cycloramas depicting German victories in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71).