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Chapter 9:

General Joseph E. Johnston assumed command of the army of Tennessee on the 27th of December, 1863. His order announcing the fact was received by the troops with great enthusiasm. He found the army deficient in numbers, arms, subsistence, stores and field transportation. General Bragg had reported to the President after Missionary Ridge, expressing ‘confidence in the courage and morale of the troops.’ The courage of the troops was indisputable-recent failures and disasters had not shaken it, and General Johnston's presence revived confidence in themselves and hope for the success of the cause for which so many sacrifices had been made.

One of the earliest orders of General Johnston was the restoration of Maney's, Strahl's and Vaughan's brigades to Cheatham's division, together with Donelson's old brigade, afterward Wright's, Col. John C. Carter, Thirty-eighth Tennessee, commanding. The esprit de corps of the division was fully restored, and the old spirit of invincibility was again dominant. The enthusiasm consequent upon this reunion found expression in a serenade to the general-in-chief, in which the men of the entire division were participants, a demonstration not prescribed in army regulations, but so hearty and cordial that the severity of discipline relaxed in favor of the veterans.

General Johnston occupied the next three months in [126] the training and discipline of his troops. The winter was exceptionally severe; the rations were not the best; fuel and clothing, hats and shoes were not always obtainable; but the approach of spring found the men cheerful and ready for action. On the 1st of May, 1864, the army of Tennessee had of infantry, artillery and cavalry, 42,756 officers and men.

Gen. W. T. Sherman, commanding the Federal army, telegraphed the general commanding at Washington, on the 5th of May, that his forward movement was being made from Ringgold, Ga., with an army 80,000 strong. General Johnston was soon reinforced by the divisions of Major-Generals Loring and French, commanded by Lieutenant-General Polk, and known thereafter as Polk's corps. On the 5th the Confederate troops were formed to receive the enemy; Stewart's and Bate's divisions in Mill creek gap, and Cheatham on Stewart's right, occupying a mile on the crest of the mountain. The assault on Stewart and Bate was repulsed, but Cheatham and Bate were constantly skirmishing until the night of the 12th.

On the 8th an attack was made in force upon the angle where the Confederate right and center joined the crest of the mountain held by Pettus' (Alabama) brigade, but was quickly repulsed. Brown's Tennessee brigade was moved to the left of Pettus, and there sustained and repulsed a vigorous assault on the 9th by a large force advancing in column. General Johnston says ‘it was met with the firmness always displayed where Pettus or Brown commanded and their troops fought.’ At 9:40 p. m., Major-General Hooker, reporting his failure at Mill creek gap (defended by Stewart, Cheatham and Bate) to General Sherman, said: ‘General Geary failed to take it; with his force it is impossible.’ On the 16th General Hooker reported that his loss up to the 15th was 760 wounded.

On the night of the 12th the army of Tennessee (Hardee's corps in advance) moved to Resaca, Vaughan's [127] brigade of Cheatham's division having already been sent to the support of Brigadier-General Cantey. On the arrival of Hardee's corps it was fiercely attacked by the army of the Ohio, commanded by Major-General Schofield, and Palmer's corps, with the result that Gen. Geo. H. Thomas reported to the commanding general under date of May 14th, that ‘the position in front of Palmer and Schofield cannot be carried,’ adding, ‘Howard's corps is moving in on Schofield's left.’ With this force, heavy skirmishing with frequent assaults continued for three days. Failing in an attack on Cheatham's line made on the 13th, unsuccessful efforts were made to carry the line held by Cleburne and Bate during the 14th and 15th, and during this time heavy skirmishing was continuous along the line occupied by the army of Tennessee. On the night of the 15th, Gen. W. H. T. Walker, then at Calhoun, reported that the Federal army was crossing the Oostenaula river near that place, and this forced General Johnston's retirement from Resaca.

On the 9th, Major-General Wheeler, with Brig.-Gen. Geo. G. Dibrell's Tennessee brigade of cavalry, composed of the Fourth, Col. Wm. S. McLemore; Eighth, Capt. Jefferson Leftwich; Ninth, Capt. James M. Reynolds; Tenth, Maj. John Minor; and Allen's Alabama brigade, Colonel Cook's Texas Rangers, and the Eighth Confederate regiment, encountered about 5,000 Federal cavalry near Varnell's Station. Dismounting his command except two regiments, he routed the enemy and captured 100 prisoners, among them Colonel La Grange, commanding brigade, 3 captains and 5 lieutenants. After the rout Colonel Cook and Colonel Prather charged into the enemy's ranks, killing and wounding large numbers.

In a dispatch of May 16th, General Sherman stated that his wounded at Resaca numbered 3,375; the number of dead, he added, ‘will not exceed the usual proportion.’ There were 1,790 Federal dead buried at Resaca, and 170 Confederates. The latter loss was mainly on the [128] skirmish line, the assaults made by the Federal troops being received behind intrenchments. General Johnston coming on the field observed the skirmish line in front of Vaughan's brigade hotly engaged, having first driven the enemy's advance from the field, then repelled a desperate assault by reinforcements, and he turned to the gallant commander of the brigade and asked, ‘What command is this in your front?’ Vaughan's face was lighted by the enthusiasm of battle, and with pride in his brave fellows he replied, ‘That is the Thirteenth and One Hundred and Fifty-fourth Tennessee of my brigade, Cheatham's division.’ ‘And who,’ asked the general, ‘is in command of that line?’ The answer was, ‘Lieut.-Col. John W. Dawson.’ Turning to the division general, Johnston said: ‘I never witnessed such a display of skill and courage, and never saw troops under such discipline and control.’ Every movement of Dawson was under observation, in full view of the commanding generals of the army, the corps, the division and the brigade. Such an opportunity is of rare occurrence. Dawson did not know whose eyes were upon him; his lofty courage, sense of duty and patriotism alone animated him, and this display at Resaca was made by him on every battlefield of the war where he fought. Col. Sidney S. Stanton, Twenty-eighth Tennessee, who fell in this battle, had been conspicuous in many engagements, was greatly distinguished at Chickamauga, had attained State distinction in civil life, and was recognized as a rising man. Though he deprecated war, he carried into it the coolness and courage of his race, and by his personal example stimulated his command to action.

By his light
Did all the chivalry move
To do brave acts.

At Calhoun, Cleburne reported, he moved to his left and rear to meet a force threatening Walker's right. Polk's [129] Arkansas and Tennessee brigade met the movement and punished the enemy handsomely, and no further attempt at an advance was made. At nightfall Johnston retired toward Adairsville, and on the morning of the 17th went into position two miles north of that place—Cheatham's division being placed in front of Hardee's corps, supported by Cleburne, Bate on his left. The enemy made a furious assault on Cheatham, but was repulsed and was content to hold his position. At night Johnston retired to Kingston, and after a halt of a few hours the army fell back to Cassville. There General Johnston's battle order was read to the army. Hardee reported that his troops were ‘wild with enthusiasm and delight.’ The position was well chosen, and the best occupied during the campaign. But, according to General Johnston's report, Polk and Hood were unwilling to risk a battle there, claiming that a part of Polk's corps was enfiladed by the Federal artillery, and urged Johnston to abandon the place and cross the Etowah river. Hardee, although not so favorably posted, remonstrated against the change. General Johnston yielded his better judgment and lost his best opportunity, and at daylight of the 20th reluctantly crossed the Etowah.

On the 19th, Federal dispatches were sent to Washington stating that ‘Johnston retires slowly, leaving nothing, and hitting hard if crowded.’ Sherman, in spite of his heavy losses, reported on the 21st of May that he would move on the following day ‘with full 80,000 fighting men,’ and had ordered the Seventeenth army corps, 10,500 strong, to join him.

Hardee's corps spent Saturday and Sunday near Allatoona, on Pumpkin Vine creek; on the following day marched eight miles to meet a reported movement of the enemy; on the 24th marched ten miles below Dallas, and then immediately returned where General Johnston had concentrated the army.

On the 27th, Cleburne fought the battle of New Hope [130] Church. Being attacked at 4 o'clock p. m. by four army corps, the enemy was repulsed after an obstinate fight of an hour and a half, and Cleburne reported the capture of 160 prisoners, exclusive of 72 sent to his field hospital, and the capture of 1,200 small-arms. His own loss was 85 killed and 363 wounded, and he estimated the Federal loss at 3,000. According to General Hardee, 700 Federal dead were lying within a dozen paces of Cleburne's line. Brig.-Gen. W. A. Quarles, with his Tennessee brigade, received the thanks of General Cleburne for efficient cooperation in resisting the attack. A body of the assailants charged into Quarles' rifle-pits, where most of them were killed or captured.

On the 28th, in a heavy skirmish in which Strahl's brigade was engaged, Col. Jonathan J. Lamb, Fifth Tennessee, was mortally wounded. He was a courageous, vigilant and well-beloved officer, who fought in the ranks as a private soldier at Shiloh, and won promotion from time to time until he reached the command of his regiment. At his fall the gallant Maj. Henry Hampton, of the Fourth, assumed command of the Fourth and Fifth (consolidated). On the same day, Bate's division, on the left of the army and in front of the village of Dallas, was instructed to ascertain by a forced reconnoissance if the intrenchments were still held in force. The brigade commanders mistook the resistance to Armstrong's cavalry as a signal to advance and rushed forward to the attack, but were compelled to draw off after sustaining a loss of 300 killed and wounded.

Skirmishing continued from day to day, and early in June the army had been transferred to a line before Marietta. On June 14th, Lieutenant-General Polk was killed by the enemy's artillery while on the outpost of Bate's division on Pine mountain by a chance shot from a Federal battery distant 600 or 700 yards, at the time being in company with General Johnston and Lieutenant-General Hardee, making an examination of the position. [131] The death of this eminent man brought great sorrow to the army. He had been a central figure in it from its organization, and the men had discovered at an early day that he was insensible to fear and was just and generous, qualities which secured for him the love and confidence of officers and men.

The battle of Kenesaw Mountain was fought by Cheatham on the 27th of June. The order to attack his position was dated the 26th. It was executed by Newton's division of the Fourth army corps, over 5,000 strong—Harker's brigade on the right in two columns, Wagner's brigade on Harker's left in one column, the regiments being in close column, left in front. Whittaker's brigade of Stanley's division, Fourth corps, followed Harker as a support, in column of deployed regiments. Kirby's brigade of the same division followed Wagner in column with two-regiment front, the two brigades of Stanley also numbering 5,000 men. Wood's division of the Fourth corps sent two brigades, 5,000 strong, in rear and to the left of Newton's division, Kimball's brigade being on the extreme left. Davis' division of the Fourteenth army corps, over 6,000 strong, was on Newton's right and confronted Cleburne's division, with Grose's brigade and other troops in reserve. Cheatham's entire division was hotly engaged, but the salient in his line was the main point of attack. Davis' division, in front of Cleburne, was repulsed. Nearly all of the field officers in McCook's brigade, including the brigade commander, were killed.

General Johnston said in his ‘Narrative:’

The most determined and powerful attack fell upon Cheatham's division and the left of Cleburne's. The lines of the two armies were much nearer to each other there; therefore the action was begun at shorter range. The Federal troops were in greater force, and deeper order, too, and pressed forward with the resolution always displayed by the American soldier when properly led. An attempt to turn the left was promptly met and defeated [132] by Cheatham's reserve, Vaughan's brigade. After maintaining the contest for three-quarters of an hour, until more of their best soldiers lay dead and wounded than the number of British veterans that fell in General Jackson's celebrated battle of New Orleans, the foremost dead lying against our breastworks, they retired unsuccessful, because they had encountered intrenched infantry unsurpassed by that of Napoleon's Old Guard, or that which followed Wellington into France, out of Spain.

Cheatham lost 195 officers and men, Cleburne, 11. The attempt to turn Cheatham's left was defeated by the prompt action of Brig.-Gen. O. F. Strahl with his brigade. Brig.-Gen. C. G. Harker fell in the attempt to lead his command to a second assault. The ‘angle’ in Cheatham's line, known to the survivors of Harker's division as ‘dead angle,’ was held by parts of Maney's and Vaughan's brigades, Maney's brigade commanded by Col. F. M. Walker, Nineteenth Tennessee. It was the weak point in the line, and when the preparation for the assault was made, the division general instructed his command that the position must be held at any cost; that its loss meant more than the loss of a battle. The First and Twenty-seventh, One Hundred and Fifty-fourth and Thirteenth Tennessee held the post of danger and of honor, and to the order of their chief they responded with a ringing cheer that must have chilled the hearts of the advancing hosts. On the right and left of these two (consolidated) regiments stood their veteran comrades of the division, ready to support them or to take their places and join in the defense. The advancing column came like a great surge of the sea, and the resistance was like that of the rock upon which the billows break; 385 Federal dead were left lying in front of Maney's brigade, and 415 in front of Vaughan's. Gen. Geo. H. Thomas officially reported the loss of the army of the Cumberland during the month of June at 5,747, three-fourths of which must have occurred [133] in front of the ‘dead angle.’ On the 29th a truce was agreed to at the request of the Federal commander, to permit the burial of his dead lying near the Confederate breastworks.

The Federal and Confederate armies confronted each other for twenty-six days near Marietta. On July 4th Cheatham's division was sent to the assistance of Hood's corps, and during that day the division sustained a great loss in the wounding and permanent disability of Brig.-Gen. A. J. Vaughan, who lost a leg from a cannon shot while his brigade was resting in the trenches. General Vaughan was a representative of the best type of the Southern soldier, was present and conspicuous at every battle from Belmont down to this date, and never failed in his duty. His judgment was never at fault, his vigilance and reliability proverbial, his courage superb, and in another age he would have been classed with ‘Hector and all the gallantry of Troy.’

Maj.-Gen. Alexander P. Stewart, of Tennessee, was made lieutenant-general, and on the 7th of July assumed command of Polk's corps, a well-deserved promotion won on the battlefield. General Johnston hesitated in his recommendation of a successor to Lieutenant-General Polk. Major-Generals Loring and French commanded divisions in Polk's corps. Cheatham and Cleburne had just won great distinction at New Hope church and Kenesaw Mountain. Without their knowledge their names were considered by the commanding general, but his conclusion to present the name of Stewart was approved by the army.

On the 8th of July two corps of Sherman's army crossed the Chattahoochee and intrenched, and on the night of the 9th the army of Tennessee crossed the river and went into position two miles from it. On the 17th the entire Federal army crossed the river, and that evening General Johnston received notice from the war office at Richmond that he had been relieved and that Hood, [134] now a full general, had been placed in command of the army. General Johnston turned the command over to General Hood on the afternoon of the following day. Lieutenant-General Stewart expressed the opinion of the Tennessee troops when he said that the army gave General Johnston ‘love and unlimited confidence,’ and that there was no abatement of it when he retired. The event affected the army like the hush of death.

The loss of the army of Tennessee in killed and wounded from the commencement of the campaign to the crossing of the Etowah, as reported by Medical Director Foard, was 3,384, more than half of it in Hood's corps; between the passage of the Etowah and Lost Mountain the loss was 2,005, more than half in Hardee's corps. During the entire campaign from Dalton to the 18th of July, when General Johnston was relieved, the losses were, killed 1,221, wounded 8,229; total, 9,450. From the 18th of July, when General Hood assumed command, to the 1st of September, 1864, the close of the campaign, the losses were, killed 1,756, wounded 10,267; total, 12,023.

The Third Tennessee, famous as the regiment organized and disciplined by Gen. John C. Brown, lost Maj. F. C. Barber and Capt. D. G. Alexander, killed at Resaca, and later on, at Powder Springs, the gallant Col. C. H. Walker fell. Under his command the Third had maintained the reputation won at Fort Donelson. At Raymond, Miss., under very trying circumstances, he commanded the regiment with unsurpassed skill and courage. Maj. John P. McGuire, Thirty-second Tennessee, was badly wounded, and Lieutenant Waddy killed, at Powder Springs. Capt. J. B. Ward, Fifth, an officer of unusual merit, was killed at Resaca. Lieut. John Talley, Ninth, fell at Resaca; and all along the line from Dalton to Atlanta our brave fellows fell, but on account of the constant movements and change of position of the army no reports were made by regimental commanders. At [135] the close of the campaign in September, there were few of them surviving to record the action of their commands.

Col. Edmund Cook, Thirty-second, fell at Powder Springs. Major-General Stevenson said of him and Colonel Walker that they were ‘models of the Southern soldier and gentleman.’ Colonel Cook was commanding Brown's brigade when he fell mortally wounded. His regiment and brigade were exposed for the want of adequate support on the left and sustained heavy losses; but he held his command in place, and by his coolness and noble bearing concentrated upon himself the attention of his entire command. He was a gifted man, endowed with a genius for war as well as for the pursuits of civil life. A great career in either was within his reach.

On assuming command, General Hood reported his strength at 48,750 of all arms, including 10,000 cavalry and 1,500 Georgia militia. General Cheatham was placed in command of Hood's corps, General Maney in command of Cheatham's division. The enemy was in bivouac between Atlanta and the Chattahoochee, and was preparing to advance.

On the evening of July 18th our cavalry was driven across Peachtree creek, and the army of the Cumberland was in the act of crossing it; whereupon General Hood decided to attack the enemy while attempting to cross this stream, and orders were given to advance at 1 p. m. of the 20th. The movement was delayed to 4 p. m. and resulted in failure and heavy losses.

On the following night Hardee was moved south on the McDonough road with orders to attack at daylight on the 22d and turn the left of McPherson's army. The attack was made with great energy, General Hood reporting that Hardee's troops ‘fought with great spirit and determination, carrying several lines of intrenchments, Wheeler attacking on the right. Hardee held the ground he gained. Cheatham, commanding Hood's corps, carried the enemy's intrenchments in his front and captured [136] 5 guns and 5 stand of colors. Hardee captured 8 guns and 13 stand of colors.’ This was one of the bloodiest and most desperately-fought battles of the war, and was the last success of the army of Tennessee. The poor result of the combat was the withdrawal of the enemy's left to the Georgia railroad and the investment of Atlanta.

The tribute Tennessee paid was the lives of many of her noblest sons. Among the dead was Col. Frank M. Walker, Nineteenth regiment, commanding Maney's brigade, who had won promotion at Kenesaw Mountain. His commission as brigadier-general, long deserved, arrived the day following his death. Col. C. W. Heiskell, who succeeded to the command of the Nineteenth, said of him: ‘Here in the forefront of the battle, in the midst of his command, his voice ringing out in words of encouragement and command above the sound of rifles, so close that the muzzles of the guns of the Confederates almost touched those of the enemy, the beloved and chivalrous Walker fell; of him it is impossible to speak too highly.’ He was an officer of great distinction, of exalted character, and equal to any position in civil or military life.

Among the others who fell on the 22d were the fearless and dashing Capt. Wayne Caldwell and Color-Bearer Ab Dinwiddie, of the Fifth; Capt. J. L. Hall, Lieuts. Jesse Farrell, G. Robinson and W. H. Morgan, Ninth; Maj. P. H. V. Weems, Capt. J. H. Johnson and Lieutenant Divny, Eleventh. Capt. W. C. Bryant and Adjt. W. C. Whitfield, Twenty-eighth, were killed; Col. D. C. Crook and Lieut. William Betty of same regiment were severely wounded. Lieut.-Col. John B. Johnson and Maj. Kyle Blevins, two young and accomplished officers of the Twenty-ninth, were killed. Capt. J. B. Carthell, commanding the Twelfth, was killed; a noble man, deserving promotion, which would have come to him in a few days. Col. W. P. Jones and Lieut.-Col. Henry C. McNeill, Thirty-third, were both killed. To them Brig.- [137] Gen. Alexander W. Campbell, the first colonel of the regiment, made this tribute: ‘It may be truly said of them and of their regiment, as of all that immortal band which will be known in history as Cheatham's Tennessee division, none were braver, none more cheerful in the discharge of duty, nor more patriotic in their devotion to the cause they had espoused.’

Capt. Richard Beard, of the Fifth (Confederate) Tennessee regiment, published the following statement in relation to the death of Maj.-Gen. J. B. McPherson, the distinguished Federal soldier who fell in the battle of the 22d of July. Captain Beard was in the line ordered by General Cleburne to advance and never halt until the breastworks were captured. ‘We ran through a line of skirmishers and took them without firing a gun, and suddenly came to the edge of a narrow wagon road running parallel with our line of march, and down which General McPherson came thundering at the head of his staff. He came upon us suddenly. My own company had reached the verge of the road when he discovered us. I was so near him as to see every feature of his face. I threw up my sword as a signal for him to surrender. He checked his horse, raised his hat in salute, wheeled to the right and dashed off to the rear in a gallop. Corporal Coleman, standing near me, was ordered to fire, and it was his shot that brought General McPherson down. He was passing under the branches of a tree, bending forward, when the fatal bullet struck him. It ranged upward and passed near the heart. A volley was fired at his fleeing staff. I ran up to the general, who had fallen upon his knees and face, but no sign of life was perceptible. Right by his side lay a signal officer of his staff whose horse had been shot from under him, who if hurt at all, was slightly wounded. He informed me that the dead man was General McPherson. General Sherman, in his history of the campaign, alleged that McPherson's pocket-book and papers were found in the haversack of a prisoner; but [138] his person and effects were not disturbed by my command.’ The lines were rapidly changing, and in a few minutes McPherson's body was in the Federal lines. Captain Beard was a gentleman before he was a soldier, and would not have tolerated a robbery or an indignity to the person of the dead general.

On the 26th Lieut.-Gen. Stephen D. Lee assumed command of Hood's corps, General Cheatham returning to his division. In the engagement of the 28th Lieutenant-General Stewart was wounded, and on the 29th Cheatham was placed in command of his corps; Brigadier-General Maney commanding Cheatham's division. On the 13th of August General Stewart resumed command of his corps, and a sick leave was granted to General Cheatham, which continued until after the battle of Jonesboro.

On the morning of July 28th the enemy moved out to our left and gained the Lickskillet road. At 11 a. m. Lee's corps was ordered to check the movement. Brig.-Gen. John C. Brown, commanding Hindman's division, with Clayton's division on his right, advanced and drove the enemy across the road and to a distance a half mile beyond, where he encountered temporary breastworks, from which he was repulsed with heavy loss. Clayton advanced ten minutes later and was driven back; then Walthall's division of Stewart's corps, under instructions from General Lee, assaulted the position from which Brown and Clayton had just been driven.

General Walthall reported that ‘Brigadier-General Quarles (with his brigade of Tennesseeans) made a bold and bloody assault, but his command was checked by the strong force in his front and the unopposed troops which lapped his left and poured into it a damaging flank fire.’ ‘If,’ said General Walthall, “it had been possible for the daring of officers and the desperate fighting of the men to have overcome such odds in numbers and strength of position as we encountered all along my whole line, the [139] enemy would have been beaten, but double the force could not have accomplished what my division was ordered to undertake.”

Among the killed of Quarles' brigade was Col. John R. White, Fifty-third Tennessee. Major Richardson, who succeeded to the command of the regiment, was mortally wounded, and the gallant Lieut.-Col. Joseph D. Wilson was desperately wounded and reported killed by the brigade commander. ‘They fell,’ said General Quarles, ‘in front of their regiments, leading them on the enemy's works. Truer and more earnest patriots never lived, and the purity of their private characters gracefully softened the ruder virtues of the soldier.’ Col. W. F. Young, Forty-ninth, was so severely wounded that the amputation of his right arm was necessary. The five officers next in rank to him were shot down, and the seventh, Capt. Thomas H. Smith, took command of the regiment. Lieut. Ashton Johnson, aide-de-camp to General Quarles, was killed, and Polk G. Johnson, of his staff, was wounded. The latter, unable to mount his horse, obtained permission to serve one of the guns of Yates' battery then in action. Rev. J. H. McNeily, chaplain of the Forty-ninth, followed his regiment to the field. General Quarles said of him that ‘he was everywhere to be seen, ministering to the physical and spiritual comfort of the dying and wounded.’

Under orders the troops were withdrawn at nightfall within our line of works, upon which, from the 28th of July to the 6th of August, the enemy made gradual approaches and assaults; but all of his attacks were repulsed, the most notable being that made on the 6th on Tyler's Tennessee and Georgia brigade of Bate's division. This brigade, holding an intrenched skirmish line, sustained and repulsed three assaults of the enemy, in which his loss was, in killed and wounded and prisoners from 800 to 1,000 men, besides two colors and 300 to 400 stand of small-arms and all of his intrenching tools. [140] Tyler's brigade lost 20 killed and wounded. General Lee, to whom Bate was reporting, issued a special order commending the conduct of the division, particularly Tyler's brigade and said: ‘Soldiers who fight with the coolness and determination that these men did will always be victorious over any reasonable number.’ The troops engaged in this affair were the Second Tennessee, Col. William D. Robison; Tenth, Col. William Grace; Fifteenth and Thirty-seventh, Lieut.-Col. R. Dudley Frayser; Twentieth, Lieut.-Col. W. M. Shy; Thirtieth, Lieut.-Col. James J. Turner; Thirty-seventh Georgia, Lieut.-Col. Joseph T. Smith; Fourth battalion Georgia sharpshooters, Capt. B. M. Turner; that intrepid soldier, Gen. Thomas Benton Smith, of Tennessee, commanding.

On the evening of the 30th of August the enemy reached the vicinity of Jonesboro. General Hood was deluded into the belief that the movement was made by two corps and that the Federal army was still in front of Atlanta. Hardee's and Lee's corps were ordered to Jonesboro, Hardee in command, Hood remaining at Atlanta. Cleburne, in command of Hardee's corps, was in position at 9 o'clock. Lee was in position at 11 o'clock a. m. of the 31st, after an all-night march, delayed because of the fact that Cleburne had encountered the enemy on his march. General Hood's order was to attack the enemy and drive him across Flint river, but instead of two army corps, Hardee found in his front the Federal army, except the Twentieth corps left at Chattahoochee bridge. Lee attacked the enemy behind works and was repulsed, falling back With a loss of 1,300 killed and wounded. Cleburne carried the temporary works of the enemy. A portion of his corps had crossed Flint river and captured two pieces of artillery, which he was unable to bring over the river. The enemy threatening an attack on Lee's corps, Cleburne's division under Brig.-Gen. M. P. Lowrey was dispatched to support Lee, while Maney, commanding Cheatham's division, occupied. [141] Lowrey's position. Hardee was on the defensive. At night Lee's corps was ordered by General Hood to return, his dispatch stating that ‘the enemy may make an attack on Atlanta to-morrow.’ On the 1st of September Hardee's corps received repeated assaults made by Sherman's army, but he succeeded in maintaining his position and enabled General Hood to withdraw from Atlanta. At night Hardee retired four miles to Lovejoy's Station, where the army was concentrated.

On the 1st of September Brig.-Gen. John C. Carter commanded Cheatham's division; on the 31st of August and the 1st of September Col. Geo. C. Porter commanded Maney's brigade, and Col. James D. Tillman commanded Strahl's. Brig.-Gen. George W. Gordon commanded Vaughan's, known hereafter as Gordon's, and on the 1st Col. John H. Anderson commanded Carter's brigade.

On the second day of the battle of Jonesboro, Carter drove the enemy back and retook the works in which a part of Govan's brigade of Cleburne's division had been captured. Gordon's brigade was most exposed, and maintained the reputation acquired under the leadership of Smith and Vaughan. The enemy, in vastly superior numbers, was held in check until night closed the battle, and Gordon covered the retreat to Lovejoy's Station.

Col. A. J. Long, Eleventh Tennessee, was mortally wounded, and Capt. J. H. Darden killed—true and faithful soldiers, said General Gordon, greatly beloved and deeply lamented. The Third lost the gallant Col. Calvin J. Clack, promoted to the command of the regiment after the fall of Colonel Walker near Marietta. The veteran Tenth mourned the loss of Col. William Grace, mortally wounded, who in his last hours gave expression to a single regret, that he could no longer serve the cause he loved so well. The chaplain of his regiment, Father Blieml, was killed while administering the sacrament of extreme unction to the dying on the field.

Tyler's brigade was hurled against the intrenched position [142] of the enemy, protected by an abatis, well-served artillery and two lines of infantry, and it was, said Lieut.-Col. James J. Turner, Thirtieth, a fatal charge, the command losing one-third of its strength in killed and wounded. Capt. J. H. Turner, Thirtieth, gallantly leading his company forward, received four mortal wounds almost in an instant, and Colonel Turner was twice wounded and disabled.

General Hood telegraphed General Bragg on September 5th the following account of the battle: ‘To let you know what a disgraceful effort was made by our men in the engagement of August 31st, I give you the wounded in the two corps: Hardee's, 539, Lee's, 946; killed, a very small number.’ Many times during the months of July and August the troops from Tennessee had made fruitless assaults against the enemy's intrenchments; their ranks had been decimated at Peachtree Creek and at the battle of Atlanta, heralded as a great victory, and the right of Quarles' brigade was slaughtered at the affair on Lickskillet road. It took that high order of courage which they exhibited in the face of these disheartening disasters for Long and Clack and Grace and Darden and Turner to lead their men up to the enemy's intrenchments, over his abatis, defended by five times their number, into the very jaws of death — there to die, surrounded by a third of their comrades killed or wounded.

Then, almost before the wounded were gathered from the field or the dead buried in unmarked graves, the general commanding records his displeasure at their conduct because the harvest of death was not more abundant.

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Benjamin Franklin Cheatham (29)
Joseph E. Johnston (25)
William J. Hardee (21)
J. B. Hood (18)
P. R. Cleburne (18)
Stephen D. Lee (11)
William B. Bate (10)
L. E. Polk (9)
Frank Maney (9)
W. T. Sherman (7)
W. A. Quarles (7)
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C. G. Harker (5)
George W. Gordon (5)
Robert C. Tyler (4)
A. P. Stewart (4)
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John C. Brown (4)
E. C. Walthall (3)
Frank M. Walker (3)
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