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[165] still advancing, with the same force I had been contending with the day before, with their centre, and deploying their wings forward on the right and left of my position. At this moment I was ordered by General Jackson to withdraw my command two miles east of Clinton, on the Jackson road, and take position there, ordering at the same time my artillery to Clinton.

By the time I had taken this position, the columns of the enemy's force had united at Clinton, where they became engaged with General Adams's brigades. I was then ordered by General Jackson to move my command nearer to Clinton, which was done and held the position, until General Adams's command retired and took position at the tombstone, about one-and-a-half miles in my rear, when I was ordered by General Jackson to withdraw my command, and take position near the breast-works west of Jackson. Apprehending that the enemy might make a flank movement on the road leading from Clinton via Mississippi Springs to Jackson, I sent some scouts to ascertain if such was the case; they not reporting, I sent out a company from the Twenty-eighth, under Captain Ratcliff, who reported immediately, that they were advancing on that road in force, with infantry, cavalry and artillery, and were then nearer Jackson (the point we were falling back to) than the position held by our troops. I immediately sent a staff officer to inform General Jackson of the fact, and that I would withdraw my brigade and try to get to Jackson before the enemy and intercept him there, he meeting up with General Lee delivered the message to him; I withdrew the brigade by regiments (my battery not having been ordered back to me at this time) in their regular order to Jackson, when I received an order from General Lee to move my column out on the road leading from Jackson to Canton. Here the roads and streets were much obstructed by large numbers of stragglers and hangers on of the army in their flight. I moved my column to reach the bridge, where the roads leading from Clinton intersects the Canton and Jackson road, supposing the enemy might move in that direction from Clinton, (as they had troops enough to make any move they chose,) and intercept the passage of our trains across the bridge. On reaching Hanging Moss creek, four miles north of Jackson, I came up with General Lee's Quarter-master in charge of all the trains, halted my command, took position, and at this time was joined by General Lee, who informed me that General Ferguson was guarding with his brigade the road leading from Clinton to the bridge, when I bivouaced at this point for the night, and remained for three days until it was discovered that the enemy were crossing Pearl river, at Jackson, in the direction of Meridian.

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W. H. Jackson (6)
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