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[198] The column was several times halted for an hour or more, because the advance had taken the wrong road, or to remove some obstruction. Just before day on the morning of the 31st a halt occurred while I was about the center of my command, and, riding forward to ascertain the cause, I met Brigadier-General Carter, now commanding Cheatham's division, who informed me that Major-General Cleburne, of IHardee's corps, who was in advance, had sent back to inform him that the enemy had taken possession of a bridge in his (Cleburne's) front, and that the troops must be halted until he (Cleburne) could reconnoitre the position and ascertain whether or not a passage of the stream could be effected. In the meantime, the better to be prepared against an attack should the enemy feel disposed to make it, I ordered a strong line of skirmishers to be thrown out in our front and a couple of batteries of artillery to be put in eligible positions for defence. Before thes-dispositions, however, could be completed, the Lieutenant-General commanding the corps overtook me, and, approving my action, directed me to remain in my then position until he had ridden forward and obtained further information in regard to the exact situation. I had not remained long where he left me until a staff officer returned with orders for me to follow with the whole division. Very soon Cheatham's division began to move forward, and I followed with the commands well closed up. Before the column was all in motion, however, the sun had risen, and a clear, cloudless ,sky betokened fair weather, at least, for the day's operations. The march, during the night, had been toilsome in the extreme to troops who had not been out of the trenches for thirty days, and daylight revealed a wearied and jaded column with ranks considerably diminished by straggling during the night. Although the most diligent exertions were made by the officers of all grades to prevent this evil, their efforts were but partially successful. The darkness of the night, the dense woods through which we frequently marched, without roads, the want of shoes by many, and the lack of recent exercise by all, contributed to induce a degree of straggling which I do not remember to have seen exceeded in any former march of the kind. In this plight the division, well closed up on Cheatham's rear, reached the vicinity of Jonesboroa at about 11 o'clock A. M. on the 31st August, and was halted on the railroad, north of and about half a mile distant from the village.

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Jonesboro (Illinois, United States) (1)

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