In honor of Pvt. Nathan R. Oakes, CSA

150 years ago, my great grandfather, Nathan Richardson Oakes, served as a private in Company D of the distinguished 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment in the Army of Tennessee. He participated in the great Civil War campaigns, including the battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville, and Bentonville. I am writing about his engagements as well as some details about fighting for the Lost Cause. I hope to honor him and commemorate the events and individuals that contributed to making this a renowned unit in the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Marching to the Battle of Jonesboro

My Great Grandfather Nathan Oakes's regiment, the 32nd Mississippi Infantry, had been for several days on duty with Mark P. Lowrey's Brigade in Patrick Cleburne's Division in the direction of East Point outside of Atlanta. On the evening of the 7th, the brigade took up position near Conley’s Mill, about 2 miles from East Point. There Lowrey ordered his men to construct a strong defensive line.  Gen. Cleburne rode daily along the lines, often accompanied by the commander of the corps, William Hardee.

The brigade remained here behind their works until the 30th. Of those 3 weeks, Lowrey wrote,
The time spent here was remarkably quiet. There was some shelling and slight skirmishing, from which I lost 2 killed and 6 wounded. On the morning of the 30th I moved to the left of East Point, went into position, and employed the day in constructing works, but late in the evening I was ordered farther to the left and halted for a short rest.
At this time, Lt. Gen. William Hardee placed Cleburne in temporary command of his corps. Cleburne then put Lowrey in command of the division, and Lowrey placed Col. John Weir of the 5th Mississippi in command of his brigade. The orders were to move out from East Point to Jonesboro to confront the movement of William T. Sherman's army at Jonesboro.

The brigade with the rest of the corps marched overnight, arriving at Jonesboro just before dawn on the 31st. Within hours, Cleburne's men will be in the midst of a 2-day battle against Sherman's army, which will take a heavy toll and ultimately result in the fall of Atlanta.

Sources: Pat Cleburne: Confederate General, Howell and Elizabeth Howell; Official Records, Vol. 38

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