The Battle of Jonesborough (modern name Jonesboro) was fought August 31–September 1, 1864, during the Atlanta Campaign in the American Civil War. Two Union armies led by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman maneuvered to draw the Army of Tennessee (led by John Bell Hood) away from their defenses at Atlanta, Georgia, where it could be destroyed.
Although Hood's army was not destroyed, the city of Atlanta was abandoned and then occupied by Union troops for the rest of the war. The fall of Atlanta also had far-reaching political as well as military effects on the course of the war.
In several previous raids during the campaign, Sherman had successfully (but temporarily) cut Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood's supply lines by using small detachments, but the Confederates had always quickly repaired the damage. Late in August 1864, Sherman believed that if he could completely sever Hood's supply line Macon & Western and the Atlanta & West Point Railroads—the Confederates would be forced to evacuate Atlanta.
Therefore, Sherman elected to move six out of his seven infantry corps against the Confederate supply lines. The Union army began pulling out of its positions on August 25 to hit the railroad between the towns of Rough and Ready and Jonesborough.
To counter this move, Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee and two Confederate corps—Hardee and SD Lee—were sent south to Lovejoy Station to halt and if possible rout the Union troops. However, Hood failed to realize most of Sherman's army was approaching there in force, causing Hardee and his command to be highly outnumbered.