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[145] arrived, I sent one brigade, Brigadier-General J. E. Smith commanding, to the left to the assistance of Osterhaus.

By the judicious disposition made of this brigade, under the immediate supervision of McPherson and Logan, a position was soon obtained giving us an advantage which soon drove the enemy from that part of the field, to make no further stand south of Bayou Pierre.

The enemy was here repulsed with a heavy loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners. The repulse of the enemy on our left took place late in the afternoon. He was pursued toward Port Gibson, but night closing in, and the enemy making the appearance of another stand, the troops slept upon their arms until daylight.

In the morning it was found that the enemy had retreated across Bayou Pierre, on the Grand Gulf road, and a brigade of Logan's division was sent to divert his attention while a floating bridge was being built across Bayou Pierre, immediately at Port Gibson. This bridge was completed, eight miles marched by McPherson's corps to the north fork of Bayou Pierre, that stream bridged, and the advance of this corps commenced passing over it at five o'clock the following morning.

On the third the enemy was pursued to Hawkinson's Ferry, with slight skirmishing all day, during which we took quite a number of prisoners, mostly stragglers from the enemy.

Finding that Grand Gulf had been evacuated, and that the advance of my forces was already fifteen miles out from there, and on the road, too, they would have to take to reach either Vicksburgh, Jackson, or any intermediate point on the railroad between the two places, I determined not march them back, but taking a small escort of cavalry, some fifteen or twenty men, I went to the Gulf myself, and made the necessary arrangements for changing my base of supplies from Bruinsburgh to Grand Gulf.

In moving from Milliken's Bend, the Fifteenth army corps, Major-General W. T. Sherman commanding, was left to be the last to start. To prevent heavy reinforcements going from Vicksburgh to the assistance of the Grand Gulf forces, I directed Sherman to make a demonstration on Haines's Bluff, and to make all the show possible. From information since received from prisoners captured, this ruse succeeded admirably.

It had been my intention, up to the time of crossing the Mississippi River, to collect all my forces at Grand Gulf, and get on hand a good supply of provisions and ordnance stores before moving, and, in the mean time, to detach an army corps to cooperate with General Banks on Port Hudson, and effect a junction of our forces.

About this time, I received a letter from General Banks giving his position west of the Mississippi River, and stating that he could return to Baton Rouge by the tenth of May; that by the reduction of Port Hudson he could join me with twelve thousand men.

I learned, about the same time, that troops were expected at Jackson from the Southern cities, with General Beauregard in command. To delay until the tenth of May, and for the reduction of Port Hudson after that, the accession of twelve thousand men would not leave me relatively so strong as to move promptly with what I had. Information received from day to day of the movements of the enemy also impelled me to the course pursued. While lying at Hawkinson's Ferry, waiting for wagons, supplies, and Sherman's corps, which had come forward in the mean time, demonstrations were made, successfully I believe, to induce the enemy to think that route and the one by Hall's Ferry above, were objects of much solicitude to me. Reconnoissances were made to the west side of the Big Black to within six miles of Warrenton. On the seventh of May an advance was ordered, McPherson's corps keeping the road nearest Black River to Rocky Springs, McClernand's corps keeping the ridge road from Willow Springs, and Sher. man following with his corps divided on the two roads. All the ferries were closely guarded until our troops were well advanced. It was my intention here to hug the Black River as closely as possible with McClernand's and Sherman's corps, and get them to the railroad, at some place between Edward's Station and Bolton. McPherson was to move by way of Utica to Raymond, and from thence into Jackson, destroying the railroad, telegraph, public stores, etc., and push west to rejoin the main force. Orders were given to Mc-Pherson accordingly. Sherman was moved forward on the Edward's Station road, crossing Fourteen Mile Creek at Dillon's plantation; Mc-Clernand was moved across the same creek, further west, sending one division of his corps by the Baldwin's Ferry road as far as the river. At the crossing of Fourteen Mile Creek, both Mc-Clernand and Sherman had considerable skirmishing with the enemy to get possession of the crossing.

McPherson met the enemy near Raymond two brigades strong, under Gregg and Walker, on the same day engaged him, and after several hours' hard fighting, drove him with heavy loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners. Many threw down their arms and deserted.

My position at this time was with Sherman's corps, some seven miles west of Raymond, and about the centre of the army.

On the night of the twelfth of May, after orders had been given for the corps of McClernand and Sherman to march toward the railroad by parallel roads — the former in the direction of Edward's Station, and the latter to a point on the railroad between Edward's Station and Bolton — the order was changed, and both were directed to move toward Raymond.

This was in consequence of the enemy having retreated toward Jackson after his defeat at Raymond, and of information that reinforcements were daily arriving at Jackson, and that General Joe Johnston was hourly expected there to take command in person. I, therefore, determined to make sure of that place, and leave no enemy in my rear.

McPherson moved on the thirteenth to Clinton,

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