previous next

[559] disastrous had I attempted literally to execute it. But, when it was known that General Johnston had ordered an advance, the weight of his name made the pressure upon me too heavy to bear. The council was, I think, nearly equally divided in opinion as to the respective advantages of the two movements; among others, those of most experience and of highest rank, advocated that which was ultimately adopted by my accepting what I declared to be, in my judgment, only the lesser of two evils.

When, on the 28th April, General Bowen informed me by telegraph that “transports and barges loaded down with troops were landing at Hard Times, on the west bank,” I made the best arrangements I could, if it became necessary, to forward to his assistance, as rapidly as possible, all the troops not, in my opinion, absolutely indispensable to prevent a coup de main, should it be attempted, against Vicksburg. It was indispensable to maintain a sufficient force to hold Snyder's Mills, Chickasaw Bayou, the city front, and Warrenton — a line of over twenty miles in length.

In addition to his troops at Young's Point (whose strength I had no means of ascertaining), which constantly threatened my upper positions, the enemy had, as has already been shown, a large force at Hard Times, and afloat on transports between Vicksburg and Grand Gulf, which threatened the latter as well as Warrenton, where a landing, under cover of his gunboats, might have been easily effected, and his whole army concentrated there instead of at Bruinsburg; and this movement would have placed him at once west of the Big Black. It was impossible for me to form an estimate of his absolute or relative strength at the two points named.

To concentrate my whole force south and east of Big Black for the support of General Bowen against a landing at Grand Gulf, or any other point south of it, not yet even apparently threatened, would, I think, have been unwise, to say the least of it. To show that I was not alone in my opinion, I add a telegram from General Stevenson, then commanding the troops in and about Vicksburg: “The men ”

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.
Bowen (2)
C. L. Stevenson (1)
J. E. Johnston (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.
April 28th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: