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[537] to make the following extract from the report of Colonel Cockrell:
Captain I. B. Wilson, of the Second infantry, Company G, claiming to have been exhausted, did not go with his company into the battle of Baker's Creek, and, having made his way to Big Black, joined his company in the rifle-pits early on the morning of the 17th instant, and, when his company was ordered to fall back, abandoned his company and remained lying in the rifle-pits, and was captured by the enemy; and, while a prisoner, stated to Colonel Elijah Gates, of the First Missouri cavalry, who was also a prisoner, that he (Captain Wilson) intended to take the oath, and then go to fighting the enemy as a guerrilla. Such conduct merits a dismissal in disgrace, and such an officer should not remain in the way of gallant and efficient officers now commanding his company.

In this opinion I fully concur. Neither Brigadier-General Bowen nor Green had furnished reports of the action on Big Black previous to his death. To the former had been intrusted the defense of the tete de pont, and he had received my instructions in person; the latter had been second in command. Brigadier-General Vaughan having failed to render his report, I am dependent for the particulars of the action upon those of Colonels Gates and Cockrell, which are respectfully forwarded herewith. Major Lockett, chief-engineer, was instructed to fire both bridges, after seeing that all the troops had crossed; this was effectually accomplished, under his personal supervision. The guns in position were ample for the defense, but, the infantry failing to support them, they were abandoned; such as were not in position were safely brought from the field, placed in battery on the bluff on the west bank, and, with others already established, and a sufficient force of infantry, held the advancing columns of the enemy effectually in check. It had become painfully apparent to me that the morale of my army was not such as to justify an attempt to hold the line of the

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Bakers Creek (Mississippi, United States) (1)

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I. B. Wilson (2)
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Martin E. Green (1)
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