War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0701 Chapter L. REPORTS, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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decided opinion that they were not. Immediately after this I was informed by another staff officer (Colonel Pickett) that the enemy were preparing to attack Lee. In view of the demoralized condition of Lee's troops, as reported by the same officer, I withdrew a division from Cleburne to support Lee.

It now became necessary for me to act on the defensive, and I ordered Cleburne to make no further attempt upon the enemy's works. It is proper to state that the enemy were strongly intrenched and had one flank resting on Flint River and both well protected. Their fortifications were erected during the day and night preceding the attack, and were formidable. Two corps were in position, with a third corps in reserve. Three other corps were in supporting distance, between Jonesborough and Rough and Ready. The Twentieth Corps alone, of Sherman's army, had been left in front of Atlanta. These facts were obtained from Captain Buel, a captured officer of Major-General Howard's staff. On the night of the 31st the following dispatch was received in duplicate from General Hood:



August 31, 1864-6 p. m.

Lieutenant-General HARDEE,

Commanding, &c.:

General Hood directs that you return Lee's corps to this place. Let it march by 2 o'clock to-morrow morning. Remain with your corps and the cavalry, and so dispose your force as best to protect Macon and communications in rear. Retain provision and ordnance trains. Please return Reynold's brigade, and, if you think you can do so and still accomplish your object, send back a brigade or so of your corps also. There are some indications that the enemy may make an attempt upon Atlanta to-morrow.

Very respectfully, &c.,


Chief of Staff.

Lee's corps proceeded to Atlanta, in obedience to this order, and I remained at Jonesborough with my own corps and a body of cavalry under Brigadier-General Jackson.

it will be seen from the above order that Lee's corps was not recalled, as General Hood states, with a view of attacking the enemy in flank, but to protect Atlanta from an apprehended attack by Sherman's army, which General Hood, with a marvelous want of information, evidently still believed to be in front of Atlanta.

On the morning of September 1 the situation was as follows: General Hood was at Atlanta with Stewart's corps and the Georgia militia; my corps was at Jonesborough, thirty miles distant, and Lee's corps on the road from Jonesborough to Atlanta, fifteen miles from each place, and in supporting distance of neither. The Federal commander, on the other hand, had concentrated his whole army upon my corps at Jonesborough, except the one corps left in front of Atlanta, and was now in position to crush in detail the scattered corps of his unwary atangonist. My position at Jonesborough had been taken up on the failure of the attack on the day previous. It was not strong naturally, and there had been little time to strengthen it by art; but it was absolutely necessary to hold the position through the day to secure the evacuation of Atlanta, which had now become necessity. To add to my embarrassment, I was encumbered by the immense subsistence and ordnance trains of the army, which had been sent for safety from Atlanta to Jonesborough, and could not now be sent farther to the rear, because the superiority of the