previous next

[544] that direction. Colonel Adams's force was, however, very inadequate to this purpose. During the night of the 17th nothing of importance occurred. Most of the artillery was speedily placed in position on the lines, and immediately measures were taken to arm all men who had either unavoidably lost or who had thrown away their arms on the retreat. General Johnston was notified, on the 17th, of the result of the battles of Baker's Creek and Big Black, and informed that I had, in consequence, been compelled to evacuate Snyder's Mills. About noon of the 18th of May, while engaged in an inspection of the intrenchments with Major Lockett, my chief-engineer, and several of my general officers, the enemy was reported to be advancing by the Jackson road. Just at this moment the following communication was received by courier:

Camp between Livingston and Brownsville, May 17, 1863.
Lieutenant-General Pemberton:
Your dispatch of to-day, by Captain Henderson was received. If Haines's Bluff is untenable, Vicksburg is of no value, and cannot be held. If, therefore, you are invested in Vicksburg, you must ultimately surrender. Under such circumstances, instead of losing both troops and place, we must, if possible, save the troops. If it is not too late, evacuate Vicksburg and its dependencies, and march to the northeast.

Most respectfully, Your obedient servant, J. E. Johnston, General.

The evacuation of Vicksburg! It meant the loss of the valuable stores and munitions of war collected for its defense, the fall of Port Hudson, the surrender of the Mississippi River, and the severance of the Confederacy. These were mighty interests, which, had I deemed the evacuation practicable in the sense in which I interpreted General Johnston's instructions, might well have made me hesitate to execute them. I believed it to be in my power to hold

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Joseph E. Johnston (2)
Most Respectfully (1)
J. C. Pemberton (1)
Lockett (1)
Henderson (1)
Wirt Adams (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May 17th, 1863 AD (1)
May 18th (1)
17th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: