On May 1, 1862, Union Officer William Tecumseh Sherman was promoted to Major General after his involvement in the Battle of Shiloh.
On July 4, 1863, Union General Ulysses Grant secures Vicksburg, Mississippi, the last Confederate stronghold along the Mississippi River.
On February 3 1864, Sherman launches his Meridian Campaign in Mississippi. His sites are set on Atlanta and Savanah. Meridian is 150 miles due east of Vicksburg and the location of three intersecting railroad lines used heavily by the Confederates to transport troops and supplies.
On February 14, 1864, Sherman captures Meridian, Mississippi.
On May 7, 1864, Sherman begins his Atlanta Campaign and March to the Sea.
On May 13-15, 1864, Sherman reaches Resaca, Georgia and encounters Confederate General Joseph Johnston. Resaca is where the Western and Atlantic Railroad crossed the Oostanaula River. Johnston’s forces put up a great defense but on the third day, they were outflanked by Union troops, giving Sherman the victory.
On May 25-26, 1864, Sherman and Johnston again faced each other New Hope Church. Once again, Johnston and the Confederate were forced to retreat back towards Atlanta and Sherman continued his march across Georgia.
On May 27, 1864, Sherman and Johnston again skirmished at Pickett’s Mill, Georgia.
On June 11, 1864, Sherman marched his Union forces through Pine Mountain, Georgia.
On June 22, 1864, Sherman was engaged at the Battle of Kolb’s Farm, Georgia and continued to move his Union forces across Georgia.
On June 27, 1864, Sherman once again attacked Johnston and his Confederate forces at Kennesaw Mountain. Once again, Sherman and the Union forces eventually prevailed.
On July 20, 1864, Sherman won another skirmish against Confederate forces at Peachtree Creek, Georgia, however, for the third time he failed to destroy the Macon & Western Railroad, a major Confederate supply line.
On August 25, 1864, Sherman sends the bulk of this Union forces towards Jonesboro, Georgia with the intention of finally destroying the Macon & Western railroad.
On this day, August 31, 1864, Sherman arrives at his destination between East Point and Jonesboro after several skirmishes with Confederate forces along the way. The Union forces clashed with the Confederate forces which had entrenched themselves into position to defend the railroad.
The fighting was fierce but by late afternoon, Confederate forces began retreating from their positions due to the overwhelming numbers and power of Sherman’s Union army. When the Battle of Jonesboro was over, the Confederates suffered over 3,000 casualties compared to a mere 1,148 casualties for Sherman’s Union forces.
On September 1, 1864, Confederate General John Bell Hood, evacuated Atlanta, leaving the city to Sherman’s mercy. The Battle of Jonesboro had been the last attempt to stop Sherman’s March to Atlanta and it failed, costing the Confederacy dearly.
Sources for the above includes: The Battle of Jonesborough; Battle of Jonesboro; American Civil War: Battle of Jonesboro (Jonesborough); Battle of Jonesboro Leads to Fall of Atlanta; Jonesborough; Civil War in Georgia, Week 18: The Battle of Jonesboro; The U.S. Civil War 1861-1865; Civil War Timeline