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[177]

Early next morning it was reported that another Federal corps, Sherman's, was on the Raymond road, twelve miles from Jackson; and, soon after, intelligence was received that both it and McPherson's were marching toward the place, one on each road. A brigade was sent forward to meet each corps, to delay the enemy's approach by skirmishing with the heads of the two columns. The resistance offered in this way so impeded the progress of the Federal troops as to give ample time for the evacuation of the place, and the removal of such military property as we had the means of transporting.1 Fortunately, Major Mims, the chief quartermaster of the department, was in Jackson; and, foreseeing, from the intelligence received the day before, that a movement was inevitable, had begun at once to prepare for it.

Orders were sent to Brigadier-Generals Gist and Maxey, for the security of the troops under their respective commands. The train, loaded, left the town by the Canton road before two o'clock; and the two brigades were called in, and followed it, and encamped about five miles from the town. This road was chosen because its direction was more favorable than that of any other for effecting a junction with the Army of Mississippi.

While Sherman's and McPherson's corps were moving upon Jackson, McClernand's divisions were

1 In the Federal official report, their skirmishing with Gregg's and Walker's brigades is exaggerated into a heavy engagement of two hours, in which the Confederate main body was badly beaten and pursued until night. On the contrary, the skirmishing was trifling, and there was nothing like pursuit-into Jackson even. And no body of Federal soldiers was discovered by our rear-guard and reconnoitring-party between Jackson and our camp.

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