War of the Rebellion: Serial 072 Page 0081 Chapter L. REPORTS, ETC.- MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS.

Search Civil War Official Records

from narrow roads, and reached his position at Couch's early in the afternoon. General Schofield being closer to the enemy, who still clung to East Point, moved cautiously on a small circle around that point and came into position toward Rough and Ready, and General Howard, having the outer circle, had a greater distance to move. He encountered cavalry, which he drove rapidly to the crossing of Shoal Creek where the enemy also had artillery. Here a short delay occurred and some cannonading and skirmishing, but General howard started them again and kept them moving, passed the Renfroe place, on the Decatur road, which was the point indicated for him in the orders of that day, but he wisely and well kept on and pushed on toward Jonesborough, saved the bridge across Flint River, and did not halt until darkness compelled him, within half a mile of Jonesborough. Here he rested for the night and in the morning of August 31, finding himself in the presence of a heavy force of the enemy, he deployed the Fifteenth Corps and disposed the Sixteenth and Seventeenth on its flanks. The men covered their front with the usual parapets and soon prepared to act offensively or defensively as the case called for. I was that night with General Thomas at Couch's, and as soon as I learned that General Howard had passed Renfroe's, I directed General Thomas to send to that place, a division of General Jeff. C. Davis' corps, to move General Stanly's corps in connection with General Schofield toward Rough and Ready, and then to send forward due east a strong detachment of General Davis' corps to feel for the railroad. General Schofield was also ordered to move boldly forward and strike the railroad near Rough and Ready.

These movements were progressing during the 31st, when the enemy came out of his works at Jonesborough and attacked General Howard in position, as described. General Howard was admirably situated to receive him and repulsed the attack thoroughly. The enemy attacked with Lee's and Hardee's corps, and after a contest of over two hours withdrew leaving over 400 dead on the ground, and his wounded, of which about 300 were left in Jonesborough, could not have been much less than 2,500. Hearing the sounds of battle at Jonesborough about noon, orders were renewed to push the other movements on the left and center, and about 4 p. m. the reports arrived simultaneously that General Howard had thoroughly repulsed the enemy at Jonesborough; that General Schofiedl had reached the railroad a mile below Rough and Ready and was working up the road, breaking it as he went; that General Stanley, of General Thomas' army, had also got the road below General Schofield and was destroying it, working south, and that General Baird, of General of General Davis' corps, had struck it still lower down within four miles of Jonesborough. Orders were at once given for all the army to turn on Jonesborough, General Howard to keep the enemy busy while General Thomas should move down from the north, with General Schofield on his left. I also ordered the troops as they moved down to continue the thorough destruction of the railroad, because we had it then, and I did not know but that events might divert our roads to our rear and north. General Kilpatrick was sent south, down the west bank of the Flint, with instructions to attack or threaten the railroad below Jonesborough. I expected the whole army would close down on Jonesborough by noon of the 1st of Sep