I telegraphed to you on the first: General Pemberton calls for large reenforcements. They cannot be sent from here without giving up Tennessee. Can one or two brigades be sent from the East? On the seventh I again asked for reenforcements for the Mississippi. I received no further report of the battle of Port Gibson, and on the fifth asked General Pemberton: “What is the result, and where is Grant's army?” I received no answer, and gained no additional information in relation to either subject, until I reached the Department of Mississippi, in obedience to my orders of May ninth. Then, on May thirteenth, I received a despatch from General Pemberton, dated Vicksburgh, May twelfth, asking for reinforcements, as the enemy, in large force, was moving from the Mississippi, south of the Big Black, apparently toward Edwards's Depot, “which will be the battle-field, if I can forward sufficient force, leaving troops enough to secure the safety of this place.” Before my arrival at Jackson, Grant had beaten General Bowen at Port Gibson, made good the landing of his army, occupied Grand Gulf, and was marching upon the Jackson and Vicksburgh Railroad. On reaching Jackson, on the night of the thirteenth of May, I found there the brigades of Gregg and Walker, reported at six thousand; learned from General Gregg that Maxey's brigade was expected to arrive from Port Hudson the next day; that General Pemberton's forces, except the garrison of Port Hudson (five thousand) and of Vicksburgh, were at Edwards's Depot — the General's headquarters at Bovina; that four divisions of the enemy, under Sherman, occupied Clinton, ten miles west of Jackson, between Edwards's Depot and ourselves. I was aware that reenforcements were on their way from the East, and that the advance of those under General Gist would probably arrive the next day, and with Maxey's brigade, swell my force to about eleven thousand. Upon this information I sent to General Pemberton on the same night (thirteenth) a despatch informing him of my arrival, and of the occupation of Clinton by a portion of Grant's.army, urging the importance of reestablishing communications, and ordering him to come up, if practicable, on Sherman's rear at once, and adding: “To beat such a detachment would be of immense value. The troops here could cooperate. All the strength you can quickly assemble should be brought. Time is all-important.” On Thursday, May fourteenth, the enemy advanced by the Raymond and Clinton roads upon Jackson. The resistance made by the brigades of Gregg and Walker gave sufficient time for the removal of the public stores; and at two P. M. we retreated by the Canton road, from which alone we could form a junction with General Pemberton. After marching six miles the troops encamped. From this point I sent to General Pemberton the despatch of May fourteenth, of which the following is a copy: General: The body of troops mentioned in my note of last night compelled Brigadier-General Gregg and his command to evacuate Jackson about noon to-day. The necessity of taking the Canton road, at right angles to that upon which the enemy approached, prevented an obstinate defence. A body of troops, reported this morning to have reached Raymond last night, advanced at the same time from that direction. Prisoners say that it was McPherson's corps (four divisions) which marched from Clinton. I have no certain information of the other: both skirmished very cautiously. Telegrams were despatched when the enemy was near, directing General Gist to assemble the approaching troops at a point forty or fifty miles from Jackson, and General Maxey to return to his wagons, and provide for the security of his brigade — for instance, by joining General Gist. That body of troops will be able, I hope, to prevent the enemy in Jackson from drawing provisions from the East, and this one may be able to keep him from the country toward Panola. Can he supply himself from the Mississippi? Can you not cut him off from it? And, above all, should he be compelled to fall back for want of supplies, beat him. As soon as the reinforcements are all up, they must be united to the rest of the army. I am anxious to see — a force assembled that may be able to inflict a heavy blow upon the enemy. Would it not be better to place the forces to support Vicksburgh between General Loring and that place, and merely observe the ferries, so that you might unite, if opportunity to fight presented itself? General Gregg. will move toward Canton tomorrow. If prisoners tell the truth, the forces at Jackson must be half of Grant's army. It would decide the campaign to beat it, which can be done only by concentrating, especially when the remainder of the Eastern troops arrive; they are to be twelve thousand or thirteen thousand. This despatch was not answered. General Pemberton stated, in his official report, that it was received at six P. M. on the sixteenth, “whilst on the retreat” from the battle-field of Baker's Creek. On the next day, May seventeenth, (Friday,) the troops under me marched ten and a half miles further, to Calhoun Station. On the morning of that day I received a letter from General Pemberton, dated Edwards's Depot, May fourteenth, (Thursday,) five forty P. M.: I shall move as early to-morrow morning as practicable a column of seventeen thousand on Dillon's. The object is to cut off the enemy's communications and force him to attack me, as I do not consider my force sufficient to justify an attack on the enemy in position or to attempt to cut my way to Jackson. This was the first communication received from General Pemberton after my arrival at Jackson, and from it I learned that he had not moved toward
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