September 3rd, 1864

Sept. 3rd, 1864:

General Sherman, having followed Hardee from Jonesboro on the previous day, has formed his troops in a line of battle across from what is left of Hardee’s Corps.  Skirmishing continues throughout the day, buy Sherman does not order an assault.  Just before breakfast, Sherman receives a dispatch from a courier sent by Slocum in Atlanta advising him that they have entered and secured the City of Atlanta and that the remainder of Hood’s forces have evacuated toward Love Joy’s Station via the McDonough Rd.  Sherman, fearing that all of Hood’s forces have reunited, holds off on attacking the Confederates and with his objective “fairly won”, he decides to hold his position a day or two longer and destroy more railroad track, before returning to Atlanta.  Slocum’s entire XX Corps has entered the city and is attempting to restore some semblance of order.

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After his defeat at Jonesboro, General Hardee (CS) retreated with his Corps south to Love Joy’s Station.  The remainder of General Hoods Army of Tennessee (CS), having evacuated Atlanta, meets them here.  They entrench in the area and establish camps at Nash Farm and other sites within Love Joy.
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Nash Farm, once the site of a Cavalry Battle from Kilpatrick’s Raid (CS), will be site where the Confederates plan to make another stand, but General Sherman, receiving word that Atlanta has been captured and occupied by Federal forces, decides not to press his advantage and attack the Confederates.  He positions his armies facing the Confederates and small skirmishes continue.
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After learning that Atlanta has fallen, General Sherman does not attempt to attack the Confederates again at Love Joy Station.  Instead he forms entrenched lines and begins to destroy more of the railroad between Love Joy and Jonesboro.
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Hwy. 41 at McDonough Rd.  Looking south at where the Confederate lines crossed the road at Love Joy Station after their retreat from Jonesboro and Atlanta.
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Looking north on Hwy. 41 from McDonough Rd. in the direction of the Federal lines the were established after they chased the Confederates from Jonesboro to Love Joy.  The spent several days here preventing the Confederates from moving back north as well as destroying more railroad.

Atlanta Has Fallen

Sept. 2nd, 1864:

With the Confederate army gone and ensuing occupation of the Federal Army, Mayor Calhoun and a group of prominent citizens rode out of the city under a white flag of truce.  Prior to leaving they debated as to whether or not they should arm themselves, the decide wisely to go unarmed.  They ride out the Mason-Turner Ferry Road, now called Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway, where they pass through the defensive perimeter and go by the Ponder house.  They encounter a mounted patrol of Federals whom they engage in conversation.  Calhoun informs the Colonel that he would like to surrender the city to General Sherman, the Colonel states that Sherman is at Jonesboro and has Calhoun write a note to his commanding officer General Ward, surrendering the city.  Calhoun wrote the note and the Colonel and two other officers sign it affirming its validity.  The note reads as follows:

Brigadier General Ward,

Comdg. Third Division, Twentieth Corps

Sir:  The fortune of war has placed Atlanta in your hands.  As mayor of the city I ask protection to non-combatants and private property.

 

James M. Calhoun,

Mayor of Atlanta

By noon Federal units have reached City Hall and hoisted their colors over the city.  Around 2:00pm, General Slocum enters the city and establishes his headquarters at the Trout House.  He sends a telegram to the Secretary of War in Washington.  The first line is “General Sherman has taken Atlanta”.

Demoralized, Hood’s troops continue their march to Love Joy’s Station to link up with Hardee.  The loss of Atlanta is a crushing blow to the Confederacy.  For Lincoln, it is a great political achievement that helps secure his spot for another term as President.

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Marietta St. at North Side Drive.  The site where Mayor Calhoun formally surrendered the City of Atlanta to Federal force essentially ending General Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign.
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The Georgia State Capital now sits where Atlanta’s war time city hall once sat.  By noon on the second of September 1864, Federal Forces raised the US flag above city hall.  Later as the occupation of Atlanta began in earnest, the City Hall was used as a headquarters for the Provost and the Provost guard camped on the grounds.

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.

August 30th, 1864

August 30th, 1864:

Having left the area of Red Oak and Fairburn, the Federal army advances on Jonesboro and the Western & Atlantic Railroad.  Howard’s Corps is the first one to cross the Flint River.  Howard’s troops come under fire as they approach the Flint River.  The Confederates are trying to delay them and as the retreat across the river toward Jonesboro, they set fire to the bridge.  The men of Logan’s XV Corps dash across the burning bridge, some providing cover fire and others putting out the flames and saving a usable portion of the bridge.  They purse the Confederates to the edge of the city and then fall back to high ground between the river and Jonesboro.  They dig in on the eastern side of the river in an area that is now Hynds Springs Road near the intersection of 138.

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Logan’s 15th, along with Ransom’s 16th and Blair’s 17th Corps of the Army of the Tennessee, commanded by General Howard (U.S.), marched from Fairburn to Jonesboro on this road.  This view is looking west towards Fairburn.  This is Hwy 138 at the Flint River.
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As Howard’s Army of the Tennessee reached the Flint River, they engaged in a skirmish with the Confederates.  The Confederates set the bridge on fire and soldiers from Logan’s Corps sprinted across the burning bridge to provide covering fire for other soldiers to begin putting out the flames on the bridge.  They pushed the Confederates back towards town and then the Federal troops entrenched along the ridge line that Hynds Springs Road follows.  This view is looking east towards Jonesboro from the Flint River bridge on Hwy 138.
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Bethsaida Baptist Church sits along Bethsaida road.  At the time of the war, this was the main road from Fairburn to Jonesboro.  As the Army of the Tennessee (U.S.) left the destroyed railroad in Fairburn and Shadnor Church, the 15th, 16th, and 17th Corps all converged on this road.  They skirmished constantly with Confederate Cavalry during their march to Jonesboro.  The church was used as temporary headquarters by the Federals during their march and the church pews were used as feed troughs for the horses.
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On their march from Red Oak, Baird’s Division of the 14th Corps split off from the other two divisions to march along a different road traveling in the same direction.  This was common practice as roads were much smaller and the shear volume of soldiers and wagons could quickly bottle neck on a small road.  Baird moved his Division along what is now Flat Shoals Road and made a right hand turn onto what is now Riverdale Road heading south towards Jonesboro to link up with the remainder of the 14th Corps.  As the division was making its turn to the south, two divisions, Wood’s and Kimball’s, of the 4th Corps (U.S.) were halted at this cross roads on their march to Rough and Ready.  The 4th Corps ended up camping here around the crossroads and the farm and home of John A. Mann, which was located a few hundred feet down the road.  This view is looking south down Riverdale Road in the direction the Federals marched towards Jonesboro.

August 29th, 1864

August 29th, 1864:

The Federal Army, having reached the West Point railroad at Red Oak and Fairburn on the previous day, spend the 29th destroying 12.5 miles of track stretching as far south as Palmetto.  They burned the ties and lay the track across them to heat them and then bend them around trees.  They fill the railroad cuts with trees, rocks, dirt, and in some cases they rig up artillery shells in the debris to explode if material is moved.  There is also a great deal of looting and pillaging of the local populace.  Livestock and food stuffs are taken along with anything the looters deem useful.  Some things are destroyed just for fun.  On the night of the 29th, Sherman issues marching orders for the next day.  In the morning they will begin moving toward Jonesboro.

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Atlanta – West Point Railroad looking south towards Fairburn. 
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Fairburn Georgia as it stands today.  Much of the town and local farms were looted during the two days that Federal forces spent here destroying the railroad prior to their movement to Jonesboro.
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The Atlanta – West Point Railroad at Red Oak.  Looking north from mile marker 14 toward the Confederate held East Point.  The Federals destroyed over 12 miles of track in two days time between East Point and Fairburn and further south to Palmetto.

August 27th, 1864

August 27th, 1864:

The first of Sherman’s troops reach Camp Creek on the morning of the 27th.  The Federal IV Corps is moving toward Camp Creek from the area around Utoy Creek.  Hood, is increasingly concerned about the possibility of Sherman attempting a flanking movement to attack the railroad at Rough and Read (now called Mountain View, which is directly east of the Atlanta airport between I-75 and I-285) or possibly at Jonesboro.  Hood has received word from some Cavalry scouts that the Federals are massing at Camp Creek.  Hood has dispatched French on a reconnaissance to the north and west of Atlanta and he has found the Federal XX corp entrenched in the are of the railroad bridge across the Chattahoochee River.  Stewart’s and Lee’s Corps move into the empty Federal trenches and begin to reap the rewards of all the items an army leaves behind.  They find everything from food to blankets.  Hood sends Sthal’s Brigade to reinforce Hardee at East Point and instructs Jackson to have Armstrong’s Brigade of Cavalry ready to block and delay the Federals if they attempt to cross Camp Creek and move on Rough and Ready.  From the south side of Camp Creek all the way to Joneboro, Confederate Cavalry skirmished with the Federals as they advanced.  Their efforts did little to stop or slow the Federals.

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This crossroads, just east of where “Sandtown” was, was a military landmark during the Civil War.  This is the Intersection of Boat Rock Road, New Hope Road, and Campbellton Road.  From here the Federal 15th Corps marched southeast and the 16th and 17th Corps marched south crossing Camp Creek and making their way to Shadnor Church (in present day Union City) and to Fairburn.
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Camp Creek at Stonewall Tell Road.  Federal forces crossed this creek on their way towards Shadnor Church and Fairburn.
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Camp Creek at Enon Rd.  Federal forces crossed this creek on their way to Shadnor Church and Fairburn.
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Owl Rock Church.  This historic church was founded in 1828 and was a military landmark for Confederate and Federal forces during the battles around Atlanta.  The Federals passed by here on their march south and east toward the Atlanta – West Point Railroad.
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Owl Rock, the church’s name sake.

August 26th, 1864

August 26th, 1864:

Sherman’s siege guns around Atlanta have fallen silent.  On the North and East side of the city, the Southern Soldiers find the Federal siege line empty of troops, but full of various items and food left behind by the Federals.  Even though he has no hard proof, Hood suspects that Wheeler’s Cavalry raid against Sherman’s supply line in northern Georgia, may have been successful and that Sherman is starting to pull back from Atlanta.  Hood also is weary of another flanking attempt by Sherman, and with the bulk of his cavalry in northern Georgia and Tennessee, he lacks critical intelligence on what is actually happening.  Hood orders his units on the south west side of the city to be prepared to move quickly if Sherman is attempting to extend his lines south.

During the night of the 26th, Sherman begins moving the remainder of his army.  The XIV Corps and the Army of the Tennessee begin moving south of Utoy Creek towards Camp Creek.  The XXIII Corps remains in place at East Point opposing Hardee’s Corps.  The XXIII staying in place, helps screen the movement of the other Federal Corps.

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The Judge William A. Wilson House built around 1856 to 1859.  On the night of August 26th the Federal Army of the Tennessee, consisting of the 15th, 16th and 17th Corps, camped on the Wilson Plantation while they were marching south to Fairburn and Palmetto.  General Logan made the home his headquarters for the night.  This location was listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks and this was it’s condition as of August 26th 2014.  Recently I drove through the area to discover that the home has been completely demolished.  Until it’s destroyed, it was one of six antebellum homes still standing in the City of Atlanta.

August 25th, 1864

August 25th, 1864:

General Sherman has grown impatient and restless with the siege of Atlanta and the failure of his Cavalry to destroy the Confederate supply line south of Atlanta.  He has devised a plan to sweep his entire army with the exception of one Corps, to the south west then move back east towards the railroad.  This movement will carry them though Red Oak, Fairburn, and Palmetto.  From there they will move on Jonesboro.

On the 25th, Sherman gives the order to begin the movement and late in the evening the XX Corps begins pulling back from the siege lines and moves across the Chattahoochee river.  The IV Corps moves as well.  They moved to the area that is now I-285 and Cascade Road.  They form a line of battle facing toward the north in the direction of the Confederate stronghold of Atlanta.  They will act as a rear guard to protect the remainder of the Union army as they begin their march on Jonesboro.  The IV Corps will remain in the Atlanta area during the assault on Jonesboro.  Sherman has also ordered all the surplus wagons and supplies to be moved from the siege lines and taken across the Chattahoochee where they will be guarded.

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Cascade Road at I-285.  Sherman ordered his IV Corps to this area where they formed a line of battle facing the Confederate lines in Atlanta.  They were to act a the rear guard as the remainder of Sherman’s army moved towards the railroad in Red Oak, Fairburn and Palmetto, before moving on to Jonesboro.

August 20th, 1864

August 20th, 1864:

After leaving from Fairburn on the 19th, Kilpatrick moved his column towards Jonesboro.  He once again met resistance from Ross’s Texas Brigade, first to his rear and then after Ross moved south below Kilpatrick and made it across the Flint River before Kilpatrick, he was then in Kilpatrick’s front.  Ross’s Brigade removed the planks on the bridge over the Flint River and formed a line of battle on the high ground on the east side of the river.  Kilpatrick had his artillery open open up on the Confederates and then had his Cavalry dismount and cross the bridge on its stringers.  They were able to force Ross’s Brigade, which was a smaller force, back towards and eventually through Jonesboro.  Kilpatrick reached Jonesboro around 5:00pm on the 19th and began to destroy the tracks and was able to burn the Railroad Station and other structures.  Heavy rain prevented the Federals from making fires to heat the railroad tracks for bending so they removed it from the railroad bed and tossed it to the side.

On the 20th, after learning that a Confederate force of unknown strength was approaching, Kilpatrick decided to abandon his efforts in Jonesboro and move towards Love Joy’s Station.  As he approached Love Joy’s Station he did not know the strength of the Confederate forces there.  They Rebels had hidden themselves in a railroad cut and waited.  When the Federal Cavalry dismounted and approached the railroad, the Confederates waited until they were within about 50 yards before making themselves known and opening fire on the Federals.   The Federals were quickly repulsed and soon they were attacked from the rear by Ross’s Texans.  Kilpatrick had limited options.  He quickly decided to fight his way out and formed his units into several tight and compact columns and made a counter attack on the Confederate forces to his rear.  Minty’s Brigade lead Kilpatricks column and as they approached the Rebels across an open field, they drew their sabers and charged.  They were able to cut their way through and Kilpatrick’s column was able to escape and make for the Federal lines east of Atlanta.  They moved north east from Love Joy’s Station toward McDonough and from there they made for the South River, which they crossed and the went through Lithonia and form there to Decatur.

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Looking west on Hwy 138 at the Flint River.  Kilpatrick’s Cavalry rode from Fairburn to Jonesboro along this road.  On the high ground in the distance, the Chicago Board of Trade Battery, unlimbered their field pieces and began to shell the Confederates of Ross’s Texans on the ridge on the east side of the river.  This artillery bombardment covered portions of Kilpatrick’s Cavalry as they dismounted and crossed the Flint river on the stringers of the damaged bridge.
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The rain swollen Flint River at Hwy 138, 150 years after Kilpatrick’s raid.
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Looking east from the Flint River Bridge on Hwy 138.  Ross’s Texans established a line on the low ridge in the distance.  After being shelled by the Chicago Board of Trade Battery and being outnumbered by Kilpatrick’s advancing cavalry, Ross’s Texans fell back to and were eventually pushed out of Jonesboro.
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Downtown Jonesboro.  This depot, built in 1867 to replace the original depot destroyed by Kilpatrick’s Cavalry, is located roughly half a mile south of location of the wartime depot.  After destroying the depot and other structures, Kilpatrick’s men destroyed the railroad tracks.  Heavy rain prevented the Federals from building large fires of cross ties to heat the tracks for bending into “neckties”, but they still did their best to dismantle the tracks.
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After leaving Jonesboro, Kilpatrick’s Cavalry rides to Love Joy Station with Ross’s Texans skirmishing with their rear guard nearly the entire way.  As Kilpatrick’s troopers dismounted and started to destroy the railroad, Confederates allowed them to approach withing 50 yards before opening fire on them.  Kilpatrick’s Cavalry was forced east from the railroad along the McDonough Rd.  In the area of the Nash farm they encountered Ross’s Texans deployed across the road.
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Nash Farm Battlefield.  Kilpatrick formed his cavalry into tight columns and charged in the direction of the camera, moving to break through Ross’s Texans.
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Ross’s Texans were deployed on this high ground at the Nash Farm Battlefield.  They were astride the road with an artillery batter on the north side of the McDonough Rd.  Kilpatrick’s Cavalry would have road across this ground into the distance to break through Ross’s Texans.

August 18th, 1864

August 18th, 1864:  Several days earlier, General Hood dispatched General Wheeler and his Confederate Cavalry to the north in an effort to disrupt Sherman’s supply lines coming from Chattanooga.  Sherman, who has quickly become restless during the siege, has started planning the movement of his entire army to the the south of Atlanta to destroy the Confederate supply line coming up from Macon.

Sherman has also learned that Wheeler’s Cavalry has made it to Tennessee and is therefore to far to offer any support to Hood or oppose Kilpatrick and his Cavalry.  Sherman decides to delay the movement of his army around Atlanta and instead he orders Kilpatrick to move on the railroad in Jonesboro with his three Brigades and two more attached to him from Garrard’s Cavalry.

On the night of the 18th, Kilpatrick and five Brigades of Federal Cavalry, begin their move towards Jonesboro.  They leave from Sandtown and head towards Fairburn.  They are opposed by only one Confederate Brigade.  Ross’s Texas Brigade spends the night of the 18th harassing and slowing down the Federal Cavalry.  These actions slow down the Federal Cavalry considerably and delay the raids time table.

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Downtown Fairburn 150 years after Kilpatrick’s Cavalry came through.  They returned here after their previous recon and at Sherman’s orders, attempted to destroy the railroad here and in Jonesboro.  They crossed the Chattahoochee River in Sandtown and traveled south east to Fairburn and skirmished with Ross’s Texans along the way.