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ree Federal regiments of infantry twice, driving them to the gunboats — the Texans drawing their six-shooters and charging the enemy when they were within twenty paces. On the evening of February 3d, Federal infantry commenced crossing Big Black river at the railroad bridge, and at Messenger's ferry (which they always kept picketed strongly), distant from Vicksburg twelve or fifteen miles, and rapidly drove in our pickets on the two roads leading towards Clinton. Early on the morning of the 4th, there was severe skirmishing on both of the roads; the enemy deploying his force in the open country, and steadily driving back the brigades of Adams and Starke in their front, their troops being in full view. This day's operations, from actual observation and from information derived from scouts and prisoners, both on the flank and rear of the enemy, fixed Sherman's force as consisting of two corps (of two divisions each), commanded by Major-Generals McPherson (Seventeenth corps) and Hurlb
als. It was a choice command, fearlessly led, and did the work assigned it, but with the loss of the noble leader and many of his followers. The charge saved Adams' brigade, which was retired, mounted and moved over Baker's creek. Griffith's Arkansas regiment was thrown into the woods near the crossing, thus permitting the two companies to sweep over the bridge when gradually pressed back by the superior numbers engaging them, and punishing the Federals for following too closely. On the 5th the cavalry was steadily pushed back to Jackson, where it arrived about dark, passing out on the road towards Canton, to enable General Loring's infantry division to cross Pearl river from Canton, moving towards Morton on the Jackson and Meridian railroad; Ferguson's brigade, moving on the road from Clinton towards Madison station, on the railroad from Jackson to Canton, to more completely cover Loring's march. A regiment was sent to keep in front of the enemy, in case he moved towards Brand
s it was ascertained that Sherman was crossing at Jackson, Adams, Starke and Ferguson were crossed over Pearl river — Ferguson placing himself in front of the enemy, and Jackson, with his two brigades, moving on his flank at Brandon and Pelahatchie stations. At the same time, Ross was ordered to abandon the Yazoo country and join his command operating against Sherman. Jackson did his work well, forcing the enemy to abandon all foraging and confine his march to one road. On the night of the 9th, while in rear of the enemy, General Polk directed all the cavalry to move and get between Sherman and the Mobile and Ohio railroad on the south, to cover that road and permit troops to be sent to Mobile, as he believed Mobile to be Sherman's destination and not Meridian. At Newton station, on the 11th, the three cavalry brigades met, Ferguson having been ordered there from the front by General Polk. General Lee here became convinced that General Polk was mistaken, and ordered Ferguson to re
n the Yazoo country and join his command operating against Sherman. Jackson did his work well, forcing the enemy to abandon all foraging and confine his march to one road. On the night of the 9th, while in rear of the enemy, General Polk directed all the cavalry to move and get between Sherman and the Mobile and Ohio railroad on the south, to cover that road and permit troops to be sent to Mobile, as he believed Mobile to be Sherman's destination and not Meridian. At Newton station, on the 11th, the three cavalry brigades met, Ferguson having been ordered there from the front by General Polk. General Lee here became convinced that General Polk was mistaken, and ordered Ferguson to return to Sherman's front, while he, with Adams and Starke, moved on the flank of the enemy at Decatur. The enemy was found moving with every possible precaution; his trains perfectly and judiciously guarded; no foraging parties out, and his large infantry force ready to punish any ill-advised attempt on
brigades met, Ferguson having been ordered there from the front by General Polk. General Lee here became convinced that General Polk was mistaken, and ordered Ferguson to return to Sherman's front, while he, with Adams and Starke, moved on the flank of the enemy at Decatur. The enemy was found moving with every possible precaution; his trains perfectly and judiciously guarded; no foraging parties out, and his large infantry force ready to punish any ill-advised attempt on his column. On the 12th, seeing a road unguarded, Colonel Robert Wood's Mississippi cavalry was ordered to make a dash at some wagons, and see what could be done. He disabled quite a number of wagons, and for a little while created quite a panic; but in a few moments the infantry of the enemy advanced from both directions, and Colonel Wood was recalled. On the 13th, General Polk ordered the cavalry to move to the north of Sherman's line of march, as he proposed to evacuate Meridian and march with his infantry towa
perfectly and judiciously guarded; no foraging parties out, and his large infantry force ready to punish any ill-advised attempt on his column. On the 12th, seeing a road unguarded, Colonel Robert Wood's Mississippi cavalry was ordered to make a dash at some wagons, and see what could be done. He disabled quite a number of wagons, and for a little while created quite a panic; but in a few moments the infantry of the enemy advanced from both directions, and Colonel Wood was recalled. On the 13th, General Polk ordered the cavalry to move to the north of Sherman's line of march, as he proposed to evacuate Meridian and march with his infantry towards Demopolis, Alabama. The enemy arrived at Meridian at 3 P. M. on the 14th of February--the Confederate cavalry retiring north towards Marion station. On this date (14th February), General Polk issued an order placing Major-General S. D. Lee in command of all the cavalry west of Alabama, and that officer at once put himself in communication
y of Marion station. Lee's command reached Line creek (Forrest's headquarters), north of Starkeville, on the morning of February 23d, where Forrest had been on the 22d, and it was found that the enemy's cavalry (under W. Sooy Smith) had commenced a hurried retreat twenty-four hours previously. Lee had been led to believe by Forredistance before meeting Forrest in the vicinity of West Point. On February 20th, at West Point, Forrest received a dispatch from Lee, saying he would arrive on the 22d. Smith, at West Point, the same day heard of this dispatch, and also had it confirmed from prisoners and deserters taken in the evening of that day, when Forrest wpril 18th, 1864, is the following, viz: The enemy, on reaching West Point, heard of my approach on the 21st, and immediately commenced their retreat. Forrest on the 22d, in the evening, commenced the pursuit, and caught up with the rear guard, inflicting severe punishment on them, capturing six pieces of artillery and many prisoner
January 23rd (search for this): chapter 2.13
Forrest was south of Tallahatchie river in northwest Mississippi, picketing towards Memphis and the Memphis and Charleston rairoad; his command being principally at Panola, Abbeville, Oxford and Grenada — his aggregate force for duty being about thirty-five hundred (3,500) in the four brigades of Jeff. Forrest, Bell, McCullough and Richardson. The entire Confederate force in Mississippi not exceeding sixteen thousand (16,000). This was the condition of affairs in January, 1864. About January 23d the spies in Vicksburg reported that Sherman would soon leave Vicksburg for the interior with an army of at least four divisions of infantry. This information was at once reported to Lieutenant-General Polk, commanding the Department, who discredited such a movement — saying it was impossible, as such an expedition had no objective point which could hurt the Confederacy, excepting Mobile or Selma, and a march over the country could not benefit or advance the cause of the Federals. He fu
January 28th (search for this): chapter 2.13
ity of Natchez; Ferguson was placed between Canton and Big Black, covering Loring, and Ross near the Yazoo river above Mechanicsburg. The Big Black was picketed heavily towards the railroad bridge and Messenger's ferry, six miles above. On January 28th a gunboat expedition, accompanied by three regiments of Federal infantry, ascended the Yazoo river. On same date Federal cavalry moved from the direction of Vicksburg towards Mechanicsburg, on road to Yazoo City. This force was met by Ross, and defeated and driven back in numerous skirmishes from January 28th to February 5th, when they retired towards Vicksburg. One of these affairs is worthy of special mention. Two regiments, the Sixth and Ninth Texas, and two guns of King's battery met and repulsed near Liverpool three Federal regiments of infantry twice, driving them to the gunboats — the Texans drawing their six-shooters and charging the enemy when they were within twenty paces. On the evening of February 3d, Federal infantr
February 3rd (search for this): chapter 2.13
orce was met by Ross, and defeated and driven back in numerous skirmishes from January 28th to February 5th, when they retired towards Vicksburg. One of these affairs is worthy of special mention. Two regiments, the Sixth and Ninth Texas, and two guns of King's battery met and repulsed near Liverpool three Federal regiments of infantry twice, driving them to the gunboats — the Texans drawing their six-shooters and charging the enemy when they were within twenty paces. On the evening of February 3d, Federal infantry commenced crossing Big Black river at the railroad bridge, and at Messenger's ferry (which they always kept picketed strongly), distant from Vicksburg twelve or fifteen miles, and rapidly drove in our pickets on the two roads leading towards Clinton. Early on the morning of the 4th, there was severe skirmishing on both of the roads; the enemy deploying his force in the open country, and steadily driving back the brigades of Adams and Starke in their front, their troops
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