one of the fourteenth, just presented. I know nothing of the causes which produced this result, but I respectfully invite attention to the fact that in this letter of the fourteenth, General Johnston suggests that very movement which I had made, and for the purpose I had indicated. After expressing the hope that certain dispositions made by himself might prevent the enemy from drawing provisions from the east, or from the country towards Panola, he says, “Can he supply himself from the Mississippi? Can you not cut him off from it, and above all, should he be compelled to fall back for want of supplies, beat him?” I have introduced General Johnston's letter entire, that the context as well as that portion to which I have particularly called attention may be considered. I had resisted the popular clamor for an advance, which began from the moment the enemy set his polluting foot upon the eastern bank of the Mississippi River. I had resisted the universal sentiment, I believe, of the army, I know of my general officers, in its favor, and yielded only to the orders of my superiors. I was not invited by General Johnston to submit my plans to him for his consideration; it is, therefore, unnecessary now to speak of them. One of the immediate results of the retreat from the Big Black was the necessity of abandoning our defences on the Yazoo, at Snyder's Mills; that position, and the line of Chickasaw Bayou were no longer tenable. All stores that could be transported were ordered to be sent into Vicksburg as rapidly as possible — the rest, including heavy guns, to be destroyed. There was at this time a large quantity of corn, probably twenty-five thousand or thirty thousand bushels, on boats, much of which might have been brought in, had it been possible to furnish the necessary wagons. The boats were sent up the river. Two companies were directed to remain at Snyder's Mills, making a show of force until the approach of the enemy by land should compel them to retire; to them was intrusted the duty of forwarding all stores possible, and of destroying the remainder. This detachment rejoined its command in Vicksburg on the morning of the eighteenth. Every precaution was taken to guard the important approaches to the city by Forney's and Smith's divisions, while the troops which had been engaged in the battles of the sixteenth and sevententh were bivouacked in rear of the intrenchments. During these battles the troops of Major-General Forney's division were disposed as follows: Brigadier-General Hebert's brigade occupied the line along the Yazoo River, from Haines' Bluff to the Mississippi, including the approaches by Chickasaw Bayou. Brigadier-General Moore's brigade, with the Mississippi State troops, under General Harris, attached (about six hundred), guarded the river-front at Warrenton, and the approaches from the lower ferries on Big Black River. Brigadier-General Shoupe's brigade, of Major-General Smith's division, guarded the river-front of the city. Brigadier-General Baldwin's brigade, with Waul's Legion attached, guarded the approaches to the city from the Hall's Ferryroad around to the Railroad Bridge on the Big Black; the heavy artillery at the batteries on the river-front, under Colonel Higgins. Brigadier-General Moore's brigade was drawn in at once from Warrenton, and placed in the intrenchments on either side of the Baldwin's Ferry road. Brigadier-General Hebert's brigade arrived before daylight on the eighteenth, bringing with it all the light pieces, and, in addition, two twenty-pounder Parrotts and a Whitworth gun. This brigade immediately occupied the intrenchments on both sides of the Jackson road. On the morning of the eighteenth the troops were disposed from right to left, as follows: Major-General Stevenson's division of four brigades, occupied the line from the Warrenton road, including a portion of the river-front to the railroad — a distance of about five miles; Major-General Forney, with two brigades, the line between the railroad and the Graveyard road — about two miles; and Major-General Smith, with three brigades, the Mississippi State troops, and a small detachment from Loring's division, the line from the Graveyard road to the river-front on the north — about one and a quarter miles. Brigadier-General Bowen's division was held in reserve to strengthen any portion of the line most threatened, and Waul's Texas Legion (about five hundred) was in reserve, especially to support the right of Moore's or the left of Lee's brigades. On the entire line about one hundred and two pieces of artillery, of different calibre, principally field, were placed in position at such points as were deemed most suitable to the character of the gun; changes of location being made when occasion called for it. An engineer officer under the supervision of Major Lockett, Chief Engineer of the Department, was assigned to each division, with an assistant to each brigade commander. Daily reports were made through the proper channel to Major Lockett of the operations of the Engineer Department, and of the progress of the enemy's works. Major Lockett thus kept me constantly informed of all important changes, making, himself, a daily report. Instructions had been given from Bovina that all cattle, sheep, and hogs belonging to private parties and likely to fall into the hands of the enemy, should be driven within our lines. A large amount of fresh meat was secured in this way. The same instructions were given in regard to corn, and all disposable wagons applied to this end. On the eighteenth, Colonel Wirt Adams, who had been previously directed to cross to the west bank of the Big Black with all his cavalry was notified that Snyder's Mills would be abandoned, and that he was expected to operate on
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Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
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