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[127]

A correction of General Patton Andersons report of the battle of Jonesboro, Ga.

[The following letters explain themselves, and are cheerfully published. Besides their historic value, they are models of soldierly courtesy which cannot be too warmly commended to any who may have occasion to controvert statements made by others in reference to events of the war.]


Letter from General Clayton.

Clayton, Ala., December 31, 1877.
Rev. J. Wm. Jones, Secretary, &c., Richmond, Va.:
Dear sir: My attention has been called to a report of the battle of Jonesboroa, Ga., on the 31st August, 1864, by General Patton Anderson, and especially to a statement which, if suffered to pass unnoticed, may do injustice to the officers and men of the Thirteenth Louisiana regiment, of Gibson's brigade. I can best notice it by copying from my own report of that battle, written a few days after.

That it may be better understood, let it be remembered that General Anderson commanded the front line, composed of Deas', Brantley's. and Sharpe's brigades.

The second or supporting line was commanded by myself, and was composed of Gibson's brigade in the centre, Holtzclaw's brigade (Colonel Bush. Jones commanding) on the right, and Mannegault's brigade, of Anderson's division, on the left. Stovals' brigade, of my division, had that morning been sent to report to General Stevenson, further to our left, and Baker's had several days before been sent to Mobile. Preparatory to moving forward, brigade commanders had been instructed that they should halt beyond certain earthworks and fallen timber in our front, to correct the alignment, before morning, to the assault, and that they would be guided by the centre.

When this point was reached, seeing that the troops in the front line were already falling back, and fearing the effect on my own, and seeing, also, now that the attack had begun, the importance of pressing it at once, I rode forward and ordered the whole division to move on without halting.


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