The Battle of Jonesboro, Day 1

August 31st, 1864:

After learning of the impending attack on Jonesboro and the railroad by the Federals, Hood dispatched Hardee’s Corps and S.D. Lee’s Corps to Jonesboro to protect the railroad.

By mid afternoon, both Hardee’s Corps and S.D. Lee’s Corps were in place at Jonesboro.  Hardee deployed with his corps to the left and as he was in overall command of the operations, Cleburne was commanding the corps. Cleburne deployed with Lowery’s Division to the left and Brown’s Division to the Right.  He held Maney’s Division in reserve.  S.D. Lee’s Corps was deployed to the right of the Confederate line.  Stevenson’s Division was on his left adjacent to Hardee’s right and Clayton was on the far right of the Confederate line.  Stovall’s and Higley’s Brigades were held in reserve and were later moved forward to the left of S.D. Lee’s lines.

Hardee’s plan was to have Cleburne advance and wheel to their right(north) and attack the Federal right flank.  Once they were engaged and the Federals shifted troops to protect the flank, their center would be weakened and then S.D. Lee’s Corp’s would initiate a full frontal assault on the Federal Lines.

Howard deployed his Federals on high ground between the Flint River and Jonesboro.  He placed Logan’s XV Corps on the Federal left where they were facing the railroad and the town of Jonesboro.  Ransom’s XVI Corps was deployed to the Federal right in a “refuse” in the line connected with Logan’s right and turned back west toward the Flint River and across it.  Blair’s XVII Corps was held in reserve.

At 3:00pm Hardee ordered the attack to begin.  As the advance began, Lowery’s Division made contact with Kilpatricks Federal Cavalry and was able to push them back rapidly across the Flint River.  Lowery’s Division was moving so fast that they were not able to maintain contact with Brown’s Division.  Brown’s Division struggled to advance through swampy terrain and a deep ravine.  As they were unsupported on their left, Brown’s Division suffered heavy losses from the entrenched Federals on the high ground above the ravine.

S.D. Lee, who had only been in command of a Corps for about a month, ordered an all out assault at the first sounds of rifle fire from Cleburne.  His inexperience caused him to attack too quickly and before the Federals could shift troops to the flank that was under attack.  So, when Lee’s Corp attacked, they engaged the fully fortified and full strength lines of Logan’s Corps.  Lee’s Corps over ran the Federal skirmishers, but were repeatedly repulsed by the Federal main line.  Lee suffered heavy losses.

While the Battle of Jonesboro ensued.  Schofield’s XXIII Corps and Stanley’s IV Corps reached the Western and Atlantic railroad south of Rough and Ready.  After a short skirmish with some Confederate Cavalry, they began destroying the railroad.

Hood, still not convinced that this was the main attack and thinking it was only a diversion, was anticipating an attack on Atlanta.  Without knowing the status of the battle in Jonesboro.  Hood orders S.D. Lee’s Corps back to Atlanta thinking he is going to be attacked.  Around midnight, Lee’s Corps, beaten, crippled, and worn out begins the long march back to Atlanta.

_DSC0242.bw
General Hardee marched his Corps (CS) to Jonesboro from train stop called Rough and Ready (now called Mountain View, located east of the Atlanta Airport between I-75 and I-285).  Looking south along what was the Macon & Western Railroad. 
_DSC0257.bw
Hardee’s Corps (CS) marched down what is now US Hwy 41 and followed it south towards Jonesboro.
_DSC0269.1.bw
In the early morning hours, lead elements of Hardee’s Corps (CS) marching south, encountered a Federal picket line at a bridge over a creek near Chambers’ Mill.  The decision was made not to engage in a night fight and Hardee’s Corps (CS) turned left (east) onto a farm road that is now Battle Creek Rd.  They continued their march east then when reaching the road to Morrow’s Station, which ran parallel to the Macon & Western Railroad, they turned south and entered Jonesboro.
_DSC0318.1.bw
Logan’s 15th Corps of General Howard’s Army of the Tennessee (US) was positioned along this high ground between Jonesboro and the Flint River to their rear.  Today, Hynds Springs Road follows what was the Federal line manned by Harrow’s Division of Logan’s 15th Corps.
_DSC0333.bw
Corse’s Division of Ransom’s 16th Corps, Army of the Tennessee (US), joined the right of Harrow’s Division at a point near a deep ravine and formed a refused line back to the west and across the Flint River.  The line was hear along what is now Magnolia Dr.  The deep ravine that hampered Cleburne’s (CS) advance on the Federals, proved to be a tactical advantage for Corse’s Division.
_DSC0306.bw
To Harrow’s left was Hazen’s Division of Logan’s 15th Corps (US).  Their lines connected at the intersection of Hwy 138 and Hynds Spring Rd.  A Strip mall now stands where Hazen’s soldier had there trenches.  S. D. Lee’s(CS) assault on the Federal lines happen here and against Harrow’s Division aligned along Hynds Springs Rd.
_DSC0366.bw
This heavily wood area is the deep ravine that is marked on battlefield maps and greatly hampered the assault of Hardee’s Corps which was under the command of General Cleburne.  The Confederates suffered greatly in the deep ravine.
_DSC0350.bw
Looking north up Hwy 41 from Veterans Pkwy.  The Confederate assault came from camera right moving to the left. 
_DSC0395.bw
Cleburne, commanding Hardee’s Corps, moved from his works here to attack the refused angle of the Federal line.  In order to do so he wheeled his forces to the right and move to the north.  This area at Fayetteville Road and W. Mill St. is the approximate location of the pivot point where Clerburne’s line joined S.D. Lee’s line.
_DSC0413.bw
Positioned to Cleburne’s (CS) right was S. D. Lee’s Corps(CS).  They moved from their lines in this area along Fayetteville Road and North Ave., to assault the Federal 15th Corps.  Looking north along Fayetteville Road the Confederates moved from right to left (east to west).
_DSC0372.bw
During Cleburne’s assault on the refused Federal line, several brigades of Lowrey’s Division(CS) encountered Kilpatricks Cavalry (US), protecting the Federal right flank.  Those Confederate brigades were able to drive Kilpatrick back across the Flint River at this point.  The loss of these brigades to driving back Kilpatrick, reduced the number of soldiers for the main assault on the Federal line and along with the deep ravine encountered by the remainder of Cleburne’s command, prevented a successful Confederate assault.
Advertisements

Author: Clint Brownlee

My name is Clint Brownlee and I am a Photographer in Woodstock, Georgia with over 20 years of photographic experience in many different aspects of photography. I have photographed everything from weddings, special events and portraits to published materials, but my passion has always been Fine Art and Nature Photography. I have had a several shows at the Mason Murer Fine Art Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia and The Roswell Visual Arts Center in Roswell, Georgia. I now sell through my website: www.clintbrownleephotography.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s