The Battle of Jonesboro, Day 2

Sept. 1st, 1864:

With S.D. Lee’s Corps having been sent back to Atlanta, Hardee was left to defend Jonesboro and the railroad with only his single Corps. to defend against the entire Federal Army of the Tennessee.  Grossly outnumbered, Hardee deployed is Corps across the line that he had previously occupied with two Corps.  Carter’s Division formed the Confederate left, Brown’s Division was placed in the center and Cleburne’s Division placed on the right and formed a salient angle with a refuse at the Warren house to the railroad.  The brigade at the very extreme end of the right flank was commanded by States R. Gist.  He ordered his men to go out ahead of the line and cut, bend over, and entangle as many trees as possible to try and even the odds with as much “abatis” as possible.  This would later prove to be a very wise decision that prevented the Federal IV Corps under Stanley’s command from being able to reach the Confederate flank and turn it.

The attack by the Federals began at 4:00pm.  Logan’s XV Corps attacked the Confederates from the west and Davis’s XIV Corps attacked the Salient in the Confederate line from the north west.  Stanley’s IV Corps attempted to attack from the north by moving south along the railroad, but was unable to penetrate the abatis of Gist Brigade.  Davis’s XIV Corps assaulted and overran the Salient in the Confederate line.  This portion of the line was held by Govan’s Arkansas Brigade and Lewis’ Kentucky Orphan Brigade.  They were overrun so rapidly that General Govan himself was captured along with 600 men and 8 cannons.  Cleburne ordered Magevney’s Brigade to fill the gap and reform the line.  They were able to do so and held off the remainder of the Federal assault.

After darkness fell, Hardee ordered a retreat of all his forces.  They fell back six miles south to Love Joy’s Station where they entrenched.  He sent a dispatch to Hood detailing that Jonesboro had fallen and that the railroad was in Sherman’s hands.

Having lost his supply lines, Hood has no choice but to evacuate Atlanta and attempt to reunite the remainder of his army at Love Joy’s Station.  He orders A.P. Stewart’s Corps and the Georgia Militia in the defenses of Atlanta to evacuate the city.  S.D. Lee’s Corps, which has marched all night toward Atlanta, after having fought a battle the previous day, is turned around only a mile or so from the city and has to march southward toward Love Joy’s Station.  With the railroad destroyed, Hood orders the Cavalry to act as a rearguard and when the Army is out of the city, they are to set fire to and blow up the munitions train at the rolling mill.  The rolling mill was at the present day location of Decatur and Boulevard.  The explosions last for hours and can be heard all they way to Jonesboro.

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After having marched all night and having fought a hard battle the previous day, S.D. Lee’s Corps(CS) met General Stewart’s Corps and the Georgia Militia just on the outskirts of Atlanta.  Stewart’s Corps continued theirs towards Love Joy Station and Lee’s Corps stopped and then followed behind them.  Both Corps and the militia traveling down the McDonough Rd. then turning south to cross the South River.
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Stewart’s and Lee’s Corps along with the Georgia Militia marched south towards Love Joy Station and crossed the South River here along what is now Moreland Ave.
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Looking north along Jonesboro Rd. at Adamson.  Cleburne’s Division was deployed across Jonesboro road with the right of his line just across the railroad. 
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The extreme right of the Confederate line was in the distance of this image and crossed the railroad tracks.  States R. Gist Brigade held the right and at his orders, his men bent and felled trees in their front to create as many entanglements as possible to help slow the Federal assault.  His method worked and the Federal 4th Corps marching south along the railroad from Rough and Ready were not able to break his line.
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The Warren house, Jonesboro Rd. between Adamson and Mimosa.  General Cleburne’s Division held the Confederate line in this area.  The half of his Division on his left was facing the Federal assault coming from the west and the remainder of his line formed a salient angle just north west of the Warren House, which allowed him to make a refused line back to the railroad.  It was here that the Federal assault broke the line and General Govan was captured.  Cleburne was able to rush reinforcements forward to hold the line.  The Warren House, built in 1859, was used as a Confederate Hospital during the battle and after the Confederate lines were overrun, it became a Federal headquarters and a hospital.
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The Carnes House built in the 1850’s, was the home of Stephen Carnes who manufactured wagons and caskets for the Confederacy. 
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The Johnson – Blalock House was built in 184o and was used as a commissary by the Confederates and during the Battle of Jonesboro, it functioned as a hospital.
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The Gayden House, built in the 1850’s, was home to Confederate Captain and Dr. Frances Gayden.  He served as the chief medical officer during the two days of battle at Jonesboro.
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The Allen – Carnes Plantation, located a few miles from town, was built in 1820 and is known to be the oldest home in Clayton County.  During the two days of combat around Jonesboro, many of the residents fled town and came here and to the Camp Plantation seeking refuge. 
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Stately Oaks was built in 1839 and was originally located about four miles from town.  It was moved to current spot in Jonesboro and restored to be used as a museum.  The original detached kitchen is on site as well as many other exhibits the demonstrate what life was like in the 1800’s.  The home at it’s original location was noted on military maps and used as a landmark for troop movements.
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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

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