troops from his heavy re-enforcements, we were about 5 p. m. compelled to withdraw. This was done by the ford over Baker's Creek (at which a temporary bridge had been laid), crossing the middle Raymond road.
Our loss was heavy. We have lost eleven pieces of artillery, and although every arrangement was made to secure the retreat of all our troops, General Loring's DIVISION, which was comparatively fresh, and which covered the approach to the ford, has not yet crossed the Big Black. I am unable to account for his absence, as I know of no cause sufficient to have prevented his following the DIVISIONS of Bowen and Stevenson, neither of whom lost a man on the retreat.
I am unable to give further particulars at present. I commanded in heavy cannonading is now going on. There are so many points by which I can be flanked that I fear I shall be compelled to withdraw. If so, the position at Snyder's Mill will also be untenable. General Tilghman was killed yesterday. I have about sixty days' rations in Vicksburg and at Snyder's.
I respectfully await your instructions.
Very respectfully, &c.,
J. C. PEMBERTON,
P. S. -I regret to say that some of Stevenson's troops behaved very badly.
CAMP, BETWEEN LIVINGSTON AND BROWNSVILLE,
Via Jackson and Montgomery, May 18, [1863.]
General S. COOPER:
Lieutenant-General Pemberton was attacked by the enemy on the morning of the 16th near Edwards Depot, and after nine hours' fighting was compelled to fall back behind Big Black. Mr. Shelton, of this neighborhood, wrote last night that he was just from Lieutenant-General Pemberton's headquarters, and that the army was falling back to Vicksburg. Mr. Robinson, just from Bovina last night, made the same report. There are two months' provisions in Vicksburg. It must ultimately fall unless we can assemble an army to relieve. I can gather in a few days 11,000, besides a garrison at Port Hudson. Send us [R. H.] Anderson's cavalry regiment from the Isle of Hope, Ga. We need it greatly.
J. E. Johnston,
Richmond, Va., May 19. 1863.
General JOSEPH E. Johnston,
The following dispatch just received from General Bragg:
SHELBYVILLE, TENN., May 18, [1863.]
A brigade of cavalry from Northern Alabama moved to Mississippi several days ago, Another DIVISION is ordered to-day.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.