tember, General Davis' corps having the shorter distance to travel was on time and deployed facing south, his right in connection with General Howard and his left on the railroad. General Stanley and General Schofield were coming down along the Rough and Ready road and along the railroad, breaking it as they came. When General Davis joined to General Howard, General Blair' corps, on General Howard's left, was thrown in reserve, and was immediately sent well to the right below Jonesborough to act against that flank, along with General Kilpatrick's cavalry. About 4 p. . General Davis was all ready and assaulted the enemy's lines across open fields, carrying them very handsomely and taking as prisoners the greater part of Govan's brigade, including it s commander, with two 4- gun batteries.
Repeated orders were sent to Generals Stanley and Schofield to hurry up, but the difficult nature of the country and the absence of roads are the reasons assigned why these troops did not get well into position for attack before night rendered further operations impossible. Of course the next morning the enemy was gone and had retreated south.
About 2 o'clock that night the sounds of heavy explosions were heard in the direction of Atlanta, distant about twenty miles, with a succession of minor explosions and what seemed like the rapid firing of cannon and musketry. These continued about an hour, and again about 4 a. m. occurred another series of similar discharges apparently nearer us, and these sounds could be accounted for on no other hypotheses than of a night attack on Atlanta by General Slocum or the blowing up of the enemy's magazines. Nevertheless at daybreak,on finding the enemy gone from his lines at Jonesborough, I ordered a general pursuit south, General Thomas following to the left of the railroad, General Howard on its right, and General Schofield keeping off about two miles to the east. We overtook the enemy again near Lovejoy's Station in a strong intrenched position, with his flanks well protected behind a branch of Walnut Creek to the right and a confluent of the Flint River to his left. We pushed close up and reconnoitered the ground and found he had evidently halted to cover his communication with the McDonough and Fayetteville road. Rumors began to arrive, through prisoners captured, that Atlanta had been abandoned during the night of September 1; that Hood had blown up his ammunition trains, which accounted for the sounds so plainly heard by us, and which were yet unexplained; the Stewart's corps was then retreating toward McDonough, and that the militia had gone off toward Covington. It was then too late to interpose and prevent their escape, and I was satisfied with the substantial success already gained. Accordingly I ordered the work of destroying the railroad to cease and the troops to be held in hand ready for any movement that further information from Atlanta might warrant.
General Jeff. C. Davis' corps had been left above Jonesborough, and General Garrard's cavalry was still farther back, and the latter was ordered to send back to Atlanta and ascertain the exact truth and the real situation of affairs. But the same night, viz, September 4, a courier arrived from General Slocum reporting the fact that the enemy had evacuated Atlanta; blown up seven trains of cars, and had retreated on the McDonough road. General Slocum had entered and taken possession on the 2nd of September. The object of my move-