About 4 p. m. on the 30th I was notified that General Hardee would probably move to Jonesborough, and that it was desired that my corps should followed and support him. At army headquarters, in Atlanta, about 9 p. m., it was decided that the column of the enemy which was marching on Jonesborough from the direction of the West Point and Atlanta Railroad should be attacked early on the morning of the 31st, and crushed, if practicable, and that Lieutenant-General Hardee, with his corps and my own, should be charged with the expedition. I accordingly reported to General Hardee at General Hood's headquarters. According to my recollection, the column marching on Jonesborough was the only column of the enemy well defined and in motion, and that it consisted of about thee army corps. I was advised that General Hardee's corps, the left of which rested at Rough and Ready, four miles below East Point, on the Macon railroad, commenced moving about 4 p. m. Orders were extended for my corps to move immediately after General Hardee's. The rear of Hardee's corps was in motion about 11.30 p. m. My corps was well closed up to it and immediately following. Our progress was very slow, and the head of my column did not reach Rough and Ready till daylight. I ascertained that the delay was caused by a portion of Hardee's corps encountering the enemy about 12 p. m. August 30 on the road on which they were marching, which made it necessary for the line of march to be changed to a neighborhood road. In consequence of this delay my corps did not arrive at Jonesborough till near 10 a. m. on the 31st, but it reached there immediately in rear of General Hardee's last division. The last three brigades of my corps, in consequence of the distance they had marched, and having been on picket, arrived about 1.30 p. m.
The enemy had during the previous evening and night effected a crossing of Flint River and made a lodgment on the east bank. The preliminaries for the attack were arranged. My corps was formed almost parallel to the railroad and immediately to the right of Jonesborough, connecting with the right of Hardee's corps, which extended toward Flint River, and making almost a right angle with the railroad. It was found that Hardee's corps did not cover as much ground as was expected, and I was instructed to extend my troops so as to fill up the interval, and my command was moved almost two divisions from to the left. The instructions given me were to attack as soon as Cleburne, who commanded Hardee's corps, should become hotly engaged, he being ordered to swing to his right and my corps to advance directly against the enemy, and, if possible, swing to the left. The firing to my left (on Cleburne's line) did not indicate a serious engagement until the right division of Hardee's corps became engaged. Being satisfied that the battle had commenced in earnest, I at once gave orders for my corps to move against the enemy. The attack was not made by the troops with the spirit and inflexible determination that would insure success. Several brigades behaved with great gallantry, and in each brigade many instances of gallant conduct were exhibited by regiments and individuals; but generally the troops halted in the charge when they were much exposed, and within easy range of the enemy's musketry, and when they could do but little damage to the enemy behind his works, instead of moving directly and promptly forward against the temporary and informidable works in their front The attack was a feeble one and a failure, with a loss to my corps of about 1,300 men in killed and wounded.