On Nov. 15, 1864, after destroying Atlanta and cutting his communications with the North, Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman, USA, began his destructive campaign for Savannah — the March to the Sea. He divided his army [US] into two wings. The Left Wing marched east from Atlanta in two columns, to feint at Augusta but to turn southeast and converge on Milledgeville.
The Right Wing (15th and 17th Corps), Maj. Gen. O. O. Howard, USA, marched south from White Hall (West End), the 15th Corps, Maj. Gen. P. J. Osterhaus, USA, via Old Jonesboro Road, the 17th Corps, Maj. Gen. F. P. Blair, USA, via the McDonough road.
The 3rd Cavalry Division, Brig. Gen. J. L. Kilpatrick, USA, marched past East Point and down the west bank of Flint River to cover the right flank and "to feint strongly toward Forsyth, cross the Ocmulgee, (and) move on Macon as if to attack it."
Near Jonesboro, Murray's brigade crossed Flint River and met elements of Iverson's small cavalry division [CS], posted here to watch Sherman's movements. Deploying the 5th Kentucky and 8th Indiana cavalry regiments, Murray attacked, drove the Confederate cavalry from the town, and captured three caissons filled with artillery ammunition.
Next morning, Kilpatrick moved south through Jonesboro toward Lovejoy's Station (6 Miles S) where, after skirmishing heavily most of the way, he found Iverson strongly intrenched.