until near mid-day; and in the mean time there was but a division
of the enemy before him. Instead of remaining passive four or five hours, until the Federal
army was ready to attack him, he could have extricated himself in a few minutes from the skirmishers of a force so inferior to his own, and obeyed the last order.
Instead of pursuing this obvious course, General Pemberton
remained inactive while General Grant
was assembling his forces and preparing to attack him.
In discussing this question, Lieutenant-General Pemberton
assumes that the loss of the battle of Baker's Creek
It certainly was made probable by the complete separation of Gregg
's and Walker
's brigades 1
from his army, and his detaching Vaughn
's and Reynold
's. The presence of these four brigades on the field would have added not less than ten thousand men to his fighting force.
It is not unreasonable to think that such an addition would have given us the victory; for but three Federal divisions actually fought, while four were held in check by Loring
, or rather, by two of Loring
's three brigades.2
In looking for the causes of the Confederate
reverses in this campaign, it is needless to go beyond Lieutenant-General Pemberton
's startling disclosure, that his movement from Edwards's Depot 3
in violation of my orders, and in opposition to the opinion of his council of war, “was made against his judgment, in opposition to his previously-expressed ”