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[636] now Gen. Slocum's, was left to cover, while the rest of the army should move by the right southward; the 4th corps, on our extreme left, marching1 to the rear of our right, while Howard, drawing back, should move 2 to Sandtown, and then to the West Point railroad above Fairburn; Thomas coming into position just above him near Red Oak; while Schofield closed in on Thomas's left, barely clear of the Rebel defenses near East Point. These movements being quietly executed without resistance or loss, our whole army, save the 20th corps, was behind Atlanta, busily and thoroughly destroying the West Point railroad, before Hood knew what Sherman was doing; and the next day it was thrown forward3 to the Macon road; Schofield moving cautiously, because of his proximity to Atlanta, and the danger of another of Hood's irruptions, to Rough-and-Ready; Thomas to a point designated as Couch's; while Howard, encountering more resistance, halted at dark: having crossed Flint river, barely half a mile from Jones-borough.

Hood had, because of Kilpatrick's recent raid, and to guard his communications, divided his army; sending half, under Hardee, to Jonesborough; while he remained with the residue in Atlanta: hence his failure to fall on Schofield during our swinging flank movement; hence the formidable resistance encountered by Howard on our right, where none was expected.

The light of day4 revealed to Howard — who had been fighting the day before, but constantly gaining ground — the immediate presence of a formidable foe. Deploying the 15th corps in the center, with the 16th and 17th on either flank, he covered his front with the habitual breastwork, and stood in quiet expectation. Hardee drew out his whole force, embracing Lee's corps beside his own, and attacked with great vigor, calculating that Howard might be overwhelmed before he could be reenforced; but Howard's position was good; his front well covered, and his soldiers as cool as though bullet-proof; and, after two hours of carnage, the enemy recoiled, leaving 400 dead on the ground, and 300 desperately wounded in Jonesboroa when he retreated. Sherman places Hardee's entire loss in this conflict at 2,500; while ours was hardly 500.

Sherman was with Thomas at Conch's, intent on road-breaking, when the sound of guns on the right drew his attention to that quarter, and induced him to impel Thomas and Schofield in that direction, leaving Garrard's cavalry to watch our rear toward Atlanta, while Kilpatrick should hasten down the west bank of the Flint and strike the railroad below Jonesborough. Davis's corps, being on Thomas's right, soon closed on to Howard, relieving Blair's (15th) corps, which was at once drawn out and thrown to Howard's right, so as to connect with Kilpatrick's troopers. All being at length ready, Davis's corps, at 4 P. M., charged the enemy's lines, covering Jonesboroa, carrying them at once, capturing Gen. Govan with most of his brigade and two 4-gun batteries. Orders were repeatedly sent to hurry up Stanley and Schofield; but tile ground was difficult

1 Aug. 25-6.

2 Aug. 26-7.

3 Aug. 29.

4 Aug. 31.

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