While on the way, at ten o'clock A. M., a letter to me, from General Pemberton
, was delivered by Captain Yerger
It was dated Edwards's Depot
, 5.40 P. M., May 14th, and contained no reference to mine of the 13th, carried to him by that gentleman, and delivered, he told me, about 7 A. M., on the 14th.
In this note General Pemberton
announced that he would “move as early as practicable on the 15th, with a column of seventeen thousand men, to Dillon
's, on the main road from Jackson
to Port Gibson
,” for the purpose of “cutting the enemy's communications,” and compelling them to attack him, as he did not think his force sufficient to justify him in attacking.
The fact that this letter was written almost eleven hours after my order had been delivered, and announced continued inaction for many more, when every hour was so important, was very discouraging, especially when the movement for which the preparations seemed to be made so deliberately would greatly increase the difficulty of our junction.
In a reply, written and dispatched without delay, General Pemberton
was told that the only mode by which we could unite was by his moving directly to Clinton
and informing me, that I might meet him there with about six thousand men.
As the brigadier-generals represented that their troops required rest after the fatigue they had undergone in the skirmishes and marches of the last five or six days, and we wanted such intelligence from General Pemberton
as would enable us to meet him, we were stationary on the 16th.
In the afternoon of that day, a reply to my first dispatch to General Pemberton
was received, dated