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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

August 30, 1864

Union Forces Marched Toward Jonesboro, Hardee Sent to Defend

After spending the previous day destroying the Atlanta & West Point Railroad, General William T. Sherman marched his army southeast toward the Macon & Western Railroad and Jonesboro. Confederate General John Bell Hood believed Sherman meant to position his army for an attack on the southern perimeter of Atlanta. But as a precaution Hood prepared two Confederate corps to be ready to depart for Jonesboro. That night, Hood learned that Union forces were within two miles of the Macon railroad, so he ordered native Georgian General William J. Hardee to march two corps through the night to turn the Union forces back. Hood told Hardee that the fate of Atlanta depended on his success. Neither men knew the full strength of the Union forces approaching Jonesboro.