Mid October 1864

After the Battle of Allatoona Pass, Hood continued to move his army to the north and west of Atlanta.  He threatened the Federal supply line in several locations, but did not do any real lasting damage.  He was pursed for a short while by Sherman and his army, but as the Confederates moved farther west into Alabama, Sherman held his position along the railroad and upon receiving orders to proceed with his plan to March to the Sea, he began making preparations.  He established a headquarters in Kingston and directed all the activities in preparation for the March.  He ordered all the non essential personnel and equipment in Atlanta to be sent back to Chattanooga and had rations and ammunition stockpiled in Atlanta for their departure in early November.

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During the Federal Occupation of Atlanta, many of the Federal troops had constructed improved living quarters in anticipation of staying the winter.  They scavenged the many destroyed structures around Atlanta for the materials to construct their small shacks.
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More improved living quarters near the Atlanta City Hall and Fulton County Court House.  The Federal units assigned as the Provost Guard made their quarters here, where the current Georgia State Capitol now sits.
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Early September 1864

After the Battle of Jonesboro, Sherman’s Army followed the Confederates to Love Joy’s Station, where Hood rejoined Hardee with Stewart’s and Lee’s Corps.  Sherman skirmished a day or so and then after learning that the XX Corps had entered Atlanta, he withdrew from Love Joy’s Station and marched back to Atlanta to claim his prize and losing what many consider to have been a prime opportunity to crush Hood and the Army of Tennessee once and for all.  Having taken Atlanta, Sherman decided he had reached his objective and did not think it was worth the bloodshed to continue pressing his advantage.

Upon entering Atlanta, Sherman established his headquarters and began to restore order to the town.  He decided that it was a military outpost and ordered all civilians to evacuate.  A truce was negotiated with Hood, who was not happy about civilians being forced from their homes, and the civilians were given a choice of taking a train north or one to the south.  The ones that choose a train south, were sent to Rough and Ready, where they had to disembark and travel to Love Joy’s Station by wagon.  About half the cities population went north and the other half went south.  There were some civilians that were allowed to stay as they were given jobs by the Federals.

Poe, Sherman’s Chief Engineer, immediately started to rebuild and strengthen the defensive line around the city.  He built artillery forts connected with infantry trenches.  With much of the city in ruin, the soldiers started to use building materials from destroyed structures to begin building small shacks as living quarters.  Sherman also began to rest and resupply his armies in preparation for his next sortie into the heart of the Confederacy.

Many of the period images that exist of Atlanta come from this time of the campaign.  George Barnard entered the city to document the Federal occupation.  There are many iconic images of the Federals and their forts in Atlanta.

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After the Federal occupation of Atlanta, General Sherman forced all the civilians out of the city.  Those that chose to go south were sent to Rough and Ready, a railroad way station just south of town.  It is now called Mountain View sits east of the Atlanta Airport between I-75 and I-285.  Here, civilian and their belongings were transferred from the wagons of Union soldiers to the wagons of the Confederates.  The Confederates carried them south to the point where the railroad was usable and the civilians were transferred again to trains.

Note:  All the images below are attributed to George Barnard.  These images are all open source and were downloaded via wikicommons.  They are all in the National Archives or the Library of Congress.

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Whitehall Street, Atlanta Ga. 1864.
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After occupying Atlanta, the Federals began to strengthen the fortifications that were built by the Confederates to defend the city.
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Part of the Atlanta battlefield
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Part of the Atlanta battlefield.
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Battlefield of Atlanta with the Potter House in the background.
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When the Confederates evacuated Atlanta, General Hood ordered the munitions train to be destroyed.  This image shows all the remains of the train and the rolling mill.
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One of the Confederate forts converted into a Federal fort.
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Converted Confederate fort being used by the Federals during their occupation of Atlanta.
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Downtown Atlanta, 1864.

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.

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.

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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. 
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Hardee’s Corps (CS) marched down what is now US Hwy 41 and followed it south towards Jonesboro.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Looking north up Hwy 41 from Veterans Pkwy.  The Confederate assault came from camera right moving to the left. 
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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.
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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).
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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.

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.