course, to the Big Black river
That such was to be his mode of obeying the order, General Pemberton
had written General Johnston
, in a note dated the 14th, at 5 P. M.; which contained, however, no reference to the council of war.
It was part of the tragedy of errors which the whole campaign illustrated, that this answer reached General Johnston
before the note previously sent.
Meanwhile, no grass was growing under Sherman
On the 14th, Johnston
, hearing that the Fifteenth Corps was twelve miles from Jackson
, on the Raymond
road, and that both it and McPherson
were moving on Jackson
, sent out one-brigade to meet each corps, and evacuated the city, which was promptly entered.
, who had been near Edwards' Depot
, having received orders to that effect, joined the main body in the neighborhood of Jackson
, out of which General Johnston
had marched with his little army, then 6,000 at most, toward Clinton
, twenty odd miles north.
Ascertaining the Federal
concentration, he dispatched an order to Pemberton
on the same day, informing him of the situation of affairs and the disposition of forces, and asking if he could not close their communications with the river, and above all beat them if for want of supplies they were compelled to fall back.
It was part the second of this tragedy of errors that Pemberton
received this communication not till after the battle of Baker
's creek, when too late to affect his action.
The battle of Baker
's creek happened in this wise: When General Johnston
, on the 15th, received General Pemberton
's second note of the day before, disclosing his designs on Dillon
instantly replied that “the only mode by which we could unite was his [Pemberton's] moving directly to Clinton
and informing me [Johnston], that I might meet him there with 6,000 men.”
Hardly had Pemberton
got well clear of Baker
's creek when this order reached him. He reversed his columns and prepared to obey it promptly, and dispatched a courier so to inform General Johnston
Just at this point a new factor appears, in the shape of Grant
, who had heard in Jackson
's designs to attack him piecemeal, and who had conceived the design of reversing the operation.
were ordered on the 15th to march to Bolton's Depot
, eight miles east of Edwards' Depot
Returning to Edwards' Depot
, General Pemberton
formed his line of battle-remaining, General Johnston
contends, for five hours in front of a single Federal division, which he might have crushed.
Battle was delivered by Grant
on the 16th, with all his force.
The Confederate resistance was spirited, but unavailing.