had abandoned the line of the Big Black River
, and fallen back to Vicksburg
On this information my fourth order to Lieutenant-General Pemberton
It was this: “If Haynes'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.”
I should have joined Lieutenant-General Pemberton
's “movable army,” and taken command of it, if at any time after my arrival in Jackson
I had been strong enough to attempt such a ride.
In the hope that my order for the evacuation of Vicksburg
would be obeyed, I directed that the two brigades with me should move to the northwest, to expedite their junction with Lieutenant-General Pemberton
When about to mount my horse next morning, for the day's march, I received a dispatch from General Pemberton
, dated Vicksburg
, May 17th, in which he reported that the army had been driven from its position on the Big Black River
, “owing to the demoralization consequent upon the retreat of yesterday,” and “fallen back to the line of intrenchments around Vicksburg
In concluding his note the writer said: “I greatly regret that I felt compelled to make the advance beyond the Big Black, which has proved so disastrous in its results.”
This sentence, and the similar one in his previous dispatch of the same day, seemed designed to convey the impression that I “compelled him to cross the Big