The Infantry Battle after the fall of Jonesboro,
September 2-5, 1864
The official ending of the Atlanta Campaign
After Jonesboro fell into Sherman's hands on September 1, 1864,
he sent his army southward from Jonesboro towards Lovejoy to
finish off Hardee's decimated Confederate army corps. As General
Hardee's corps were squaring off with Sherman's Army at Lovejoy,
General Hood, General A. P. Stewart's Corps and the Georgia
Militia were evacuating Atlanta and heading to Lovejoy to
support Hardee's Corps there. In the meantime, Confederate
General Stephen D. Lee's Army Corps were strung out halfway
between Atlanta and McDonough. Hardee's Confederate Corps were
centered on the Macon & Western Railroad one mile north of
Lovejoy. Hardee's stretched out battle lines were facing north.
The 15th U.S. Army Corps positioned themselves west of the Macon
Railroad with Stanley's 4th and Schofield's 23rd U.S. Army Corps
east of the railroad facing south. Ransom's 16th U.S. Army Corps
were facing east on the Pan handle Road.
Stanley's 4th U.S. Army Corps commenced the battle by attacking
Hardee's Corps in a frontal assault but could not hold the
works. Stanley attempted several more assaults but failed each
time with disastrous results. A general engagement took place
all along Stanley's and Schofield's front lines. The 15th Army
Corps were facing Hardee's left flank near Lovejoy High School,
a half mile distance west of the Macon Railroad.
On September 3rd, Schofield received a dispatch from General
Sherman to feel for the Confederate right flank towards the
McDonough & Fosterville roads (Babb's Mill Road). Schofield
replied he would feel for the McDonough & Fosterville Roads if
Lee's Corps were not marching from the direction of McDonough.
Schofield's 23rd Army Corps found Stephen D. Lee's Corps at a
location he described:"The enemy's line has been extended last
evening, and is probably beyond my reach. It appears to run
along a high ridge immediately in front of the McDonough Road
and behind Walnut Creek (Henry County). I am feeling well to the
left with skirmishers to see if I can reach the enemy's left on
the McDonough Road." This is the exact location of the property
located on Babb's Mill and McDonough Roads. Walnut Creek starts
at a springhead and is located on the property. The high ridge
is located on the back of this property. Stewarts Corps arrived
at the location from Atlanta via McDonough adjoining Hardee's
right flank by connecting to Lee's left on this property. A
sharp engagement was initiated here running all long the lines
extending on the McDonough Road towards County Line Church - a
half mile east of this property.
Stewarts and Lee's Corps used this property as a staging area
(via the extinct road from Babb's Mill) to extend on Hardee's
right flank. Heavy fighting in this area of Stewart and Lee's
Army Corps is evident from all the artifacts that have been
recovered from this property. Schofield's location was on the
Union Army's left flank and was in the direct line of fire
facing Stewarts and Lee's Corps.
By the morning of September 6th, Sherman pulled his army back to
Atlanta via Jonesboro to join other Union forces that were
already in Sherman's prized city. Thus ended the Atlanta
Campaign. 33 battles would be fought before Atlanta would fall.
The confederate loss at Jonesboro caused the fall of Atlanta,
assured the re-election of Lincoln and opened the pathway for
Sherman's March to the Sea.
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