for the garrison to cut its way out; but two thousand five hundred of the garrison were fit for duty at the time of the surrender. The enemy advanced against Yazoo City both by land and water on the thirteenth. The attack by the gunboats was handsomely repulsed by our heavy battery, under the command of Commander Isaac N. Brown, of the navy. The “De Kalb,” the flag-ship of the hostile squadron, an iron-clad, mounting thirteen guns, was sunk by a torpedo. To the force advancing by land no resistance was made by the garrison, commanded by Colonel Creasman, of the Twenty-ninth North Carolina regiment. I have introduced my dispatch of May fourteenth into this report, because General Pemberton, after stating that it was not received until after the battle of Baker's Creek, claimed that although he had not acted on those instructions, the letter suggested the very movement he had made, and for the same purpose. When the enemy was at Jackson the letter suggested a movement for the sole purpose of dislodging him, and so stated. General Pemberton's march, with whatever purpose made, was begun after the enemy had abandoned Jackson, and was almost in his presence. My order of the fifteenth--at which time I should have joined General Pemberton, to take immediate command of the main army, but that I was still too weak to attempt such a ride — which was received by him very early on the morning of the sixteenth, required him to abandon that movement; had he obeyed it the battle of Baker's Creek would have been escaped. About the middle of January, finding the cavalry in Mississippi inactive, and being satisfied, by the representations of well informed persons, acquainted with the country, that it could not be usefully employed in Mississippi until late in the spring, and persuaded that a larger cavalry force was needed to cover that portion of Tennessee from which General Bragg was drawing his supplies, I transferred about two-thirds of the cavalry of Mississippi to Tennessee. By this transfer from Mississippi at a time when General Grant had fallen back on Memphis, and Sherman and McClernand had been repulsed at Vicksburg, I gave strength to the Army of Tennessee, which had been greatly reduced by the engagements near Murfreesboro, and enabled General Bragg to cover the country and secure supplies for his army. About March twentieth, General Pemberton applied for cavalry for the protection of the northern part of the State during the planting season. But his reports heretofore referred to, indicated that the enemy's forces were to be employed in Tennessee rather than Mississippi, and Van Dorn's cavalry being then absolutely necessary to hold the country from which General Bragg was drawing his supplies, I could not send it, and so informed General Pemberton. When he reported that Grant's army was returning to the Mississippi, a strong brigade of cavalry was ordered from Tennessee into that State. The time to strike the enemy with the best hope of saving Vicksburg, was when he was landing near Bruinsburg. To do this with any prospect of success, a rapid concentration of all the forces should have been made, and an attack. Under this conviction, I telegraphed to General Pemberton on May first, from Tullahoma: “If Grant's army lands on this side of the river, the safety of Mississippi depends on beating it. For that object you should unite your whole force.” And, again, on May second: “If Grant crosses, unite your whole force to beat him. Success will give back what was abandoned to win it.” These instructions were neglected, and time was given to Grant to gain a foothold in the State, and at Port Gibson and Raymond detachments of our troops were defeated and driven back by overwhelming numbers of the enemy. On the thirteenth, when I learned that there were four divisions of the enemy at Clinton, distant twenty miles from the main body of General Pemberton's forces, I gave him orders to attack them, and notified him that we could co-operate. This order General Pemberton disobeyed; and so reported to me in his letter of the seven-teenth. I directed him to move twenty miles to the east to co-operate with me in attacking Sherman. He moved to the south, and made our co-operation and junction impossible. He claims that this order compelled him to make the advance beyond the Big Black, which proved so “disastrous.” Before I had reached Jackson, and before the order was given, General Pemberton made his first advance beyond (east of) the Big Black, to Edwards' Depot; after the receipt of the order, in violation of it, he made his second and his last advance from that point to the field of Baker's Creek. He further claims that this order caused the subversion of his “matured plans.” I do not know what those plans were, but am startled to find matured plans given up for a movement in violation of my orders, rejected by a majority of his council of war, and disapproved (as he states) by himself. On the twelfth, he wrote me that if he could collect force enough, Edwards' Depot would be the battle-field. The battle of Baker's Creek was fought three or four miles from Edwards' Depot. The presence of the enemy was reported to him the night before. There was no apparent obstacle to prevent him from resuming his original position, and carrying out his “matured plans.” It is a new military principle, that when an officer disobeys a positive order of his superior, that superior becomes responsible for any measure his subordinate may choose to substitute for that ordered. But, had the battle of Baker's Creek not been fought, General Pemberton's belief that Vicksburg was his base, rendered his ruin inevitable. He would still have been besieged, and, therefore, captured. The larger force he would have carried into the lines, would have added to, and hastened the catastrophe. His disasters were due not merely to his entangling himself with
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Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
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