After receiving, at Bovina
, early in the morning of the 14th, my order of the night before, directing him to march upon Clinton
, General Pemberton
rode to the camp of his army just south of Edwards's Depot
, and convened a council of war, composed of his general officers, to which he exhibited my note, making a long argument against obedience to the order expressed in it.1
A majority of the members of the council voted for moving upon Clinton
in obedience to orders.
A minority advocated a plan for seizing the enemy's communications by placing the army on the road from Jackson
to Port Gibson
, to compel General Grant
to attack it. Although averse to both opinions, General Pemberton
adopted that of the minority of his council,2
and determined to execute a measure which he disapproved, which his council of war opposed, and which was in violation of the orders of his commander.
Twenty-four hours after the adoption of this resolution, in the afternoon of the 15th, the army commenced its march, and, after crossing Baker's Creek
, encamped near Champion Hill
, some three miles from the ground it had left.
It had been compelled to march twice as far, however, by the destruction of a bridge by a flood in Baker's Creek
was informed at night, that the camp of a strong body of Federal troops was near, in the direction of Bolton
The fires were distinctly visible.
It was that of Hovey
's division, of the Thirteenth Corps.
Early in the morning of the 16th, Lieutenant