previous next

[343] promptly made, and many of the troops fought with gallantry worthy of all praise. Though defeated, they were not routed.

Stevenson's single division for a long time resisted a force estimated by him at ‘more than four times’ his own. In the afternoon he was reenforced by the unfaltering troops of Bowen's division. Cockerell, commanding the First Missouri Brigade, fought with like fortitude under like disadvantage. When Pemberton saw that the masses assailing his left and left center by their immense numbers were pressing our forces back into old fields, where the advantages of position would be in his adversary's favor, he directed his troops to retire, and sent to Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman instructions to hold the Raymond road to protect the retreat. General Pemberton says of him:

It was in the execution of this important duty, which could not have been confided to a fitter man, that the lamented General bravely lost his life.

He was the officer whose devoted gallantry and self-sacrificing generosity were noticed in connection with the fall of Fort Henry. This severe battle was signalized by so many feats of individual intrepidity that its roll of honor is too long for the limits of these pages.

Though some gave way in confusion, and others failed to respond when called on, the heroism of the rest shed luster on the field, and ‘the main body of the troops retired in good order.’ The gallant brigades of Green and Cockerell covered the rear.

The topographical features of the position at the railroad bridge across the Big Black were such as, with the artificial strength given to it, made it quite feasible to defend it against a direct approach even of an army as much superior in numbers to that of Pemberton as was that of Grant; the attack need not, however, be made by a direct approach. The position could be turned by moving either above or below by fords and ferries, and thus advancing upon Vicksburg by other and equally eligible routes. From what has already been quoted it will be understood that General Pemberton considered the occupation of Vicksburg vitally important in connection with the command of the Mississippi River, and the maintenance of communication with the country beyond it. It was therefore that he had been so reluctant to endanger his connection with that point as his base. Pressed as he was by the enemy, whose object, it had been unmistakably shown, was to get possession of Vicksburg and its defenses, the circumstances made it imperative that he should abandon a position the holding of which would not effect his object, and that he should withdraw his forces from the field to unite them with those within the defenses of Vicksburg, and endeavor, as speedily as possible, to reorganize the depressed and discomfited troops.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Raymond (Mississippi, United States) (1)
Mississippi (United States) (1)
Fort Henry (Tennessee, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
J. C. Pemberton (4)
Cockerell (2)
Lloyd Tilghman (1)
Martin E. Green (1)
Ulysses S. Grant (1)
John S. Bowen (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: