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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/168

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160 Southern Historical Society Papers.

man, commenced to turn the Confederate position at Atlanta. A Federal forc^ made a detour, and occupied a position at Jonesboro, about twenty-five miles south of Atlanta. On the night of the 3oth, General Hood, remaining in Atlanta with one corps of his army, sent the remaining two, Lee's and my own, under my command, to dislodge this force. It was found to consist of three corps, strongly entrenched. The attack upon it was unsuccessful. Cleburne com- manded my corps in this action, and achieved the only success of the day, the capture of some guns and a portion of the enemy's works. On the night of the 3ist, General Hood withdrew Lee's Corps toward Atlanta, and the general commander was re-enforced by three additional corps, so that on the morning of the ist of Sep- tember, my corps, in which Cleburne had renewed his place as division commander, was confronted by six Federal corps. General Sherman had in the meantime arrived on the field and taken com- mand in person. The enemy at once took the offensive. It was of the last necessity to secure the safe withdrawal of the remainder of the army from Atlanta, that this Confederate corps should hold its position through the day. The odds were fearful, and the contest that followed was a very trying one; but the position was held against the attacks made upon it through the day, and the remainder of the army retired in safety from Atlanta. Cleburne' s services were highly valuable in the operations of this day.

In the fall and winter of 1864, General Hood marched into Ten- nessee. In this campaign, at the battle of Franklin, November 30, Cleburne fell at the head of his division. He was one of thirteen general officers killed or disabled in the combat. He had impressed upon his officers the necessity of carrying the position he had been ordered to attack, a very strong one, at all cost. The troops knew from fearful experience of their own and their enemies', what it was to assault such works. To encourage them Cleburne led them in person to the ditch of the opposing line. There, rider and horse, each pierced by a score of bullets, fell dead against the reverse of the enemy's works.

The death of Cleburne cast a deep gloom over the army and the country. Eight millions of people, whose hearts had learned to thrill at his name, now mourned his loss, and felt there was none to take his place. The division with which his fame was identified merits more particular attention. It was worthy of him and he had made it so. Its numbers were made up and its honors shared by citizens of five communities Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi