Confederate service—in December, 1861.
During the two years and more that had elapsed he had been on constant duty, and on account of his soldierly qualities and his distinguished services, he had been promoted from captain of a battery to colonel of artillery.
There was not a more popular or a more deserving officer in the Missouri
command, and every soldier felt his death as a personal loss.
The gunboat fight in which Colonel Wade
had been killed was designed on the part of the Federals
to clear the way for crossing General Grant
's army from the west to the east side of the river, thus enabling him to attack Vicksburg
from the south and east.
The crossing was effected just below the mouth of Bayou Pierre
. General Pemberton
, who was in command at Vicksburg
, sent two small brigades, Tracy
's and Baldwin
's, composed mostly of new recruits, to reinforce the Missourians.
Gen. Martin Green
, with 1,500 men, met Grant
's army on the south bank of Bayou Pierre
and resisted its advance all night.
In the morning, after he was reinforced by Tracy
's and Baldwin
's brigades, and after a two hours fight in which General Tracy
was killed, he retired slowly and in good order to a range of hills southwest of Port Gibson
, where General Bowen
met him and took command.
Early on the morning of the 1st of May the Third, Fifth and Sixth Missouri infantry were marched to within striking distance of the field of battle and held in reserve.
The Second infantry was left to defend the trenches at Grand Gulf
, and the First was posted on the north bank of Bayou Pierre
near its mouth to prevent the enemy crossing and getting in rear of the little army.
The Sixth was detached and sent to report to General Green
, who had become engaged on the new line.
's command constituted the right wing and Cockrell
's the left wing.
There was no center.
In a short time the right wing was forced back, and it became apparent that the enemy