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[115] Pemberton lays the blame of defeat on Loring, who declined to reinforce the Confederate left. For this same inaction General Loring is equally praised by Johnston. The field was lost, and Loring, after guarding the retreat of the army across the creek, and seeing the bridge burned, moved out by a wide detour and joined General Johnston with his division. Next day the Federals, crossing Baker's creek on pontoon bridges, renewed the battle at the Big Black river, east of which Pemberton had stationed Bowen, while Stevenson was bivouacked on the other side. The Confederates were disheartened and divided, and the fight soon became a flight. Eighteen Confederate cannon were captured. The remnant of Bowen's command was conducted from the field by Stevenson. Grant followed swiftly, and the pickets of the advance were before Vicksburg on the 18th. On the next day the investment was complete.

On the 17th, Johnston, marching his two brigades on the road from Livingston to Edwards' received Pemberton's account of events, including the council of war on the 14th, and the battle at Baker's creek. The action at the river was progressing at the moment of General Pemberton's latest communication. Hearing immediately afterward of the abandonment of the Big Black, General Johnston orders Pemberton: “If Haines' Bluff is untenable, Vicksburg is of no value and cannot be held. * * * Evacuate Vicksburg, if not too late, retreating to the northeast.” Expecting that this order was obeyed, Johnston marches to the northwest to meet the garrison. On the 18th he received a dispatch from Pemberton, at Vicksburg, announcing his retreat into the intrenchments, and adding that the order of evacuation had been submitted to a council of war, and while it was holding the enemy's guns opened. “I have decided to hold Vicksburg as long as possible. I still conceive it to be the most important point in the Confederacy.” Johnston answers Pemberton encouraging him to hold out-“I am trying to get together a force to help you” --and orders Gardner to evacuate Port Hudson. Before this order could be repeated Port Hudson was invested by the whole force from Baton Rouge. Thus far the preliminary narrative, which has been condensed to the exclusion of many important points-among them the discussion between General Johnston and the administration as to the authority of the former over the army in Tennessee to order reinforcements from it to Mississippi. How far results were affected and responsibility fixed by these disagreements, and that between the generals in the field, may be considered on a later page.

It may be well credited that the garrison and the populace had

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