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.

The Battle of Brown’s Mill

July 30th, 1864:  The Battle of Brown’s Mill

On the 29th, McCook’s Cavalry made it to Love Joy’s Station where they were supposed to meet General Stoneman and destroy as much of the railroad as possible.  When McCook arrived, Stoneman was not there, so McCook began to destroy the tracks.  Stoneman had been given permission by Sherman to head south towards Macon and Andersonville after destroying the tracks, in an effort to free the Union Prisoners.  Stoneman, who was looking to pull off some heroic venture to improve his reputation, decided that McCook could handle the detail at Love Joy’s Station and went straight for Macon.

McCook ended up fighting a fairly heated skirmish at Love Joy’s Station and the began to retreat back towards the west in an attempt to cross the Chattahoochee and return to the safety of the Federal lines.  General Wheeler and his Confederate Cavalry were hot on his trail and were engaged in a running skirmish with McCook’s rear guard.

On the morning of the 30th, the front of McCook’s column came into Newnan along what is now E. Broad St. near the train depot.  Their path was blocked by a train load of Confederate soldiers that were waiting for the tracks in Palmetto to be repaired.  The same tracks that McCook had destroyed a couple of days before.  Both sides were surprised by the appearance of the other and a small firefight ensued.  Being blocked in the front by the train and having Wheeler coming up on his rear, McCook began moving south of town looking for a clear path to the river where he could avoid a fight.  Wheeler’s forces entered town and split up in an effort to hit McCook from the front and rear.

The two forces finally met about three miles south of Newnan near Brown’s Mill along the Millard Farm Road and what is now Old Corinth Road.  McCook’s troopers were driven from the road and into the woods where they dismounted and fought on foot.  There was a fair amount of back and forth with Wheeler’s troopers pushing the Federal back and then McCook’s troopers counter attacking and pushing the Confederates back.  At one point the 8th Iowa even captured the lead elements of Ross’s Texans(CS) as they had just dismounted to assault the Federal line.  The 3rd Texas was able to cut their way through the 8th Iowa and rescue General Ross and the others that had been captured.  The fighting was intense and Wheeler soon received about 1400 reinforcements that had marched out of Newnan.  McCook, thinking he was surrounded, shouted “Every man for himself!”  McCook suffered heavy casualties and lost several officers and Brigade Commanders.  He decided to split his forces and they cut their way out of Wheelers trap and made off for the river in different directions.  A large number of his troopers were captured over the next few days as the Confederate Cavalry continued their pursuit.  McCook, lost about 100 troopers to the fight and another 1300 were captured and sent to prison camps.  Wheeler lost about 50 troopers.

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The Newnan Depot was built in 1850 and was recently renovated into a special events facility after spend many years as an abandoned decaying structure.  Confederate soldiers bound for Atlanta as replacements, were stranded here in Newnan while waiting for the railroad tracks in Palmetto to be repaired.  When McCook’s troopers rode into town they rode straight into these stranded soldiers and small firefight ensued.
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General McCook(US) skirted his column of cavalry around to the south of Newnan in an attempt to make a crossing at the Chattahoochee River, but General Wheeler(CS) was closing in quickly.  Here, at Brown’s Mill Battle Field Historic Site, a park with historical markers and walking path has been created to preserve the remains of the battlefield.  In this image the Confederates under Wheeler’s command would have attacked from the north (right of frame) toward the south (left of frame).  The Federal line was along the right side of the image just out of frame.  When Wheeler attacked they pushed the Federals back to the left of the image.
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Looking east across a portion of the battlefield.  The Confederates pushed McCook back from the through this area.  This area is preserved as part of the park.  After Wheeler received reinforcements of Infantry from the stranded soldiers at the train depot, he was able to surround McCook on three sides.
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A small branch of Sandy Creek winds through the battlefield.  Brown’s Mill was located on a larger portion of the creek south of this point.  For the most part the terrain was mixed with open areas and heavily wooded areas.  The 4th Indiana was positioned here moving up to the right towards Millard Farm Road to hold the Federal Left Flank.
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Buena Vista, Newnan Ga.  After the Battle of Brown’s Mill, General Wheeler retired to this home for the evening and established his Headquarters here while he directed the continued pursuit of the fleeing Federals.
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75 College St. Know as College Temple, was originally part of school that was started in 1853.  The school was comprised of seven buildings and as the raged on, it was pressed into service as a hospital for thousand of soldiers both Union and Confederate, that found their way to Newnan.

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73 College St. Know as College Temple, was originally part of school that was started in 1853.  The school was comprised of seven buildings and as the raged on, it was pressed into service as a hospital for thousand of soldiers both Union and Confederate, that found their way to Newnan.

 

150 Years Ago Today: 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 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 some 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 realize 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 soon they were attacked in the rear by Ross’s Texans.  Kilpatrick had limited options.  He quickly decided to fight his way out and formed his units into a tight and compact column and made a counter attack on the Confederate forces in 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 to Lithonia and form there to Decatur.