month, remaining himself at Atlanta, nearly thirty miles from the scene of action with one corps of his army, he should have sent me in command of the other two corps to make an attack at Jonesborough, upon which he says so much depended.
On the 26th of August the enemy drew in his left on the north front of Atlanta, in pursuance of a plan to turn our position and move upon our railroad communications. Wheeler had cut the railroad between Atlanta and Chattanooga, and General Hood believed the enemy to be retreating for want of supplies. He even ordered General W. H. Jackson, then commanding the cavalry of the army, to harass the rear of the retreating enemy. General Jackson endeavored to convince him of his error, but to no purpose. The opportunity to strike the flank of the enemy exposed during the five days occupied in the movement from Atlanta to Jonesborough was neglected and lost. It was not until the 30th of August in the evening of which day the enemy actually reached the vicinity of Jonesborough, that General Hood was convinced, by information sent him by myself from Rough and Ready, that the enemy were moving upon that place. He then determined to attack what he believed to be only two corps of the enemy at Jonesborough. The enemy had reached Jonesborough before the order was given to move against him. I was telegraphed at Rough and Ready in the evening of August 30 to come to Atlanta, and an engine was sent for me. I arrived in the night. General Hood ordered me to move with Lee's corps and my own, commanded by Major-General Cleburne, to Jonesborough, attack the enemy, and drive him, if possible, across Flint River. The troops were in vicinity of East Point and were put in motion at once. I left Atlanta by rail and reached Jonesborough before daylight, expecting to find Lee and Cleburne there. To my disappointment I learned that Cleburne there. To my disappointment I learned that Cleburne, who was in advance, had encountered the enemy in force on the road he had been instructed to take, and had been compelled to open another road. This occasioned great delay. Cleburne got into position about 9 o'clock on the morning of the 31st, and Lee, who was in rear, at about 11 o'clock. Three brigades of Lee's corps, which had been left on picket, did not get up until 1.30 p.m. Foreseeing that the attack could not be made before the afternoon, and that the enemy would have time by intrenching himself to add strength of position to superiority of numbers, I telegraphed these facts to General Hood early in the day and urged him to come to Jonesborough and take command. Communication with Atlanta by rail was then still open, but he did not come. As soon as the lines could be adjusted I ordered the attack. Lee's corps was on the right, Cleburne's on the left. Cleburne had orders to turn the enemy's right flank, and Lee to begin the attack on our right when he heard Cleburne's guns. Lee, mistaking the guns of Cleburne's skirmishers for the main attack, began the movement before Cleburne became serious engaged. He encountered formidable breast-works, which he was unable to carry, and after considerable loss was driven back in confusion. Cleburne had carried the temporary works of the enemy, and a portion of his command had crossed Flint River and captured 2 pieces of artillery, which he was unable, however, to bring over the river. He was now moving upon the enemy's main works. I sent my chief of staff (Colonel Roy) to Lieutenant-General Lee to ascertain whether his troops were in condition to renew the attack. General Lee expressed the