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‘ [348] flank. I remained with Stewart's corps and the militia in Atlanta.’

Hardee immediately put his corps in motion, under the gallant Cleburne, but of course he was too late. Hardee in person reached Jonesboro by rail from Atlanta by daylight, but his corps encountered the enemy in force on the road it was instructed to take, and was compelled to open another road, so that it was 9 a. m. of the 31st before it was in position before Jonesboro. Lee came soon afterward, except three brigades left on picket, which arrived at 1:30 p. m. Early in the day Hardee foresaw that the contemplated attack could not be made until afternoon, and as he reported, ‘I telegraphed these facts to General Hood, and urged him to come to Jonesboro and take command. Communication with Atlanta by rail was then still open, but he did not come.’ His report continues:

As soon as the lines could be adjusted, I ordered the attack. Lee's corps was on the right. Cleburne, on the left, had orders to turn the enemy's right flank, and Lee to begin the attack on our right when he heard Cleburne's guns. Lee, mistaking the guns of Cleburne's skirmishers for the main attack, began the movement before Cleburne became seriously engaged. He encountered formidable breastworks which he was unable to carry, and after considerable loss was driven back in confusion. Cleburne had carried the temporary works of the enemy, and a portion of his command had crossed Flint river and captured two pieces of artillery, which he was unable, however, to bring over the river. Immediately after this I was informed by another staff officer that the enemy were preparing to attack Lee. In view of the demoralized condition of Lee's troops, as reported by the same officer, I withdrew a division from Cleburne to support Lee. It now became necessary for me to act on the defensive, and I ordered Cleburne to make no more attempts on the enemy's works. It is proper to state that the enemy were strongly intrenched and had one flank resting on Flint river and both well protected. The fortifications were erected during the day and night preceding the attack and were formidable.

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