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Captain Burn’s Account

Captain Burns account of the battle at Lovejoy Station

Our brigade moved on and turned sharply to the right, in a southwesterly direction, to strike the railroad again about eight miles below Jonesboro. I stayed on the hill with Captain Burns, for a short time, to witness the skirmishes between Long and the enemy. From where we were all our maneuvers could be distinctly seen, as also the enemy, who would advance upon our men, only to be driven back. It was a beautiful sight. “By Heaven, it was noble sight to see-by one who had no friend or brother there.” & Captain Burns, myself following, now galloped off to overtake our brigade, which we soon did. Colonel Long had orders to follow as quickly as possible, Colonel Murray to come after. We (our Brigade) pushed for Lovejoy Station. When within a mile and one half of the railroad we halted for the rest of the command to join us.

About a mile from the railroad the road forks, the two prongs striking the railroad about a mile apart. A few hundred feet in front of and parallel to the railroad another road ran. The Fourth Michigan was sent by the right-hand road to the railroad, which it reached without any trouble; the rest of the brigade took the left-hand prong of the road, having the last mile or two driving off about a dozen cavalrymen. As we neared the railroad, the firing became hotter and hotter.

The Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry was dismounted and sent forward to the woods-one battalion, four companies, of it had been advance guard. Hotter grew the firing, and the horses of the advance that had been dismounted came hurrying back. The Fourth United States (Regulars) were then dismounted and sent in. Captain Burns was sent back to hurry up two of Long’s regiments; but before this could be done the Seventh Pennsylvania and Fourth Regulars were driven from the woods in some confusion. We had run on a brigade of infantry who were lying in the woods behind barricades at the side of the railroad; and a force of the enemy was also pushed in on the right, where the Fourth Michigan were at work. Long’s brigade was put in position to check the advancing Confederates, and our battery brought up, as the woods before us were swarming with enemy The Forth Regulars and Seventh Pennsylvania were placed in support of the battery. Poor fellows, they were badly cut up.

One of Long’s regiments was formed near the fork of the road, the Fourth Michigan was being placed there, and the enemy tried again and again to take our battery. It fought magnificently, and the guns were made to radiate in all directions and did splendid work, our men supporting them well. One of the guns, by the rebound, had broken its trail off short, so that it could not be drawn from the field. When the rest of the pieces had been withdrawn Colonel Minty called for men to draw off the piece by hand. Captain Burns took about twenty men of the Fourth Michigan Cavalry down and helped pull it off, though the enemy was very close to us. While this was taking place, heavy firing was heard in our rear, for the cavalry with which we had been fighting had followed us, and had us in a pretty tight box, as follows: a brigade of infantry in our front and a party on our left, a division moving on our right and but a short distance off, three brigades of cavalry in our rear.

Stoneman and McCook threw up the sponge under like circumstances. We decided we must leave the railroad alone, and crush the enemy’s cavalry, and consequently withdrew from fighting the infantry, who now became very quiet, probably expecting to take us soon. The command was faced to the rear as follows: Our brigade was formed on the right hand side of the road, each regiment in columns of fours (four men abreast); the Fourth Regulars on the left, Fourth Michigan center, Seventh Pennsylvania on the right, Long’s Brigade formed in close columns with regimental front, that
each regiment formed in line, the men side by side, boot to boot, thus:


The soldiers account ends with the cavalry lined up for the sabre charge at Nash Farm.