War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0221 Chapter XXXVI. GENERAL REPORTS.

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ceived a dispatch from Lieutenant-General Pemberton, directed to Tullahoma, asking for re-enforcements, as the enemy in large force was moving easterly from the Mississippi south of the Big Black, and stating that Edwards Depot, their probable destination, would be the battlefield.

I arrived in Jackson on Wednesday evening, May 13, and learned from Brigadier-General Gregg, who had just arrived, that he had about 5,000 men; also that Sherman's corps (four DIVISIONS) occupied Clinton. Immediately I dispatched written messages by couriers to Lieutenant-General Pemberton, informing him of my arrival and of the occupation of Clinton by Sherman's corps-four DIVISIONS, as I had been informed.

I urged the importance of re-establishing communication, that he might be re-enforced; ordered that he should, if practicable, come upon the enemy's rear at once with all the strength he could quickly assemble, informing him that we could co-operate in such an attack.

On Thursday, May 14, after all preparations had been completed, and orders to Brigadier-Generals Gist and [S. B.] Maxey for the security of their commands had been given, I evacuated Jackson about noon (2 p. m.), being obliged to take the Canton road, at right angles to that upon which the enemy approached. That evening, from our camp about 6 miles from Jackson, I sent dispatch to Lieutenant-General Pemberton, informing him that General Gregg and his command had been compelled to evacuate Jackson, and of the direction taken; that Brigadier-General Gist had been ordered to assemble the approaching troops at a point 40 or 50 miles from Jackson, and Brigadier-General Maxey to return to his wagons and advised to join Brigadier-General Gist; expressed the hope that this force would be able to prevent the enemy in Jackson from drawing provisions from the east, and that Brigadier-General Gregg's force would be able to keep him from the country toward Panola; inquired if the enemy could not be cut off from his supplies from the Mississippi, and, above all, should the enemy from want of supplies be compelled to fall back, could he (General Pemberton) not beat him. I strongly urged concentration of troops.

On Friday morning, May 15, I received a dispatch from Lieutenant General Pemberton, dated 5. 40 p. m., Edwards Depot, May 14, stating that he would move early next morning with a column of 17,000 men to Dillon's (situated on the main road leading from Raymond to Port Gibson, 7 1/2 miles below Raymond and 9 1/2 miles from Edwards Depot), to cut enemy's communications and force the enemy to attack him, as he did not consider his force sufficient to justify his attacking the enemy in position or cutting his way to Jackson. This dispatch was brought by Captain [William S.] Yerger, who bore the dispatch of the 13th instant to General Pemberton. I immediately acknowledged receipt of the above dispatch, and answered General Pemberton that our movement to the north rendered his plan of junction by Raymond impracticable, and ordered him to move so as to effect a junction, and to communicate with me, so that I might unite to his force about 6,000 men. The copy of this dispatch (sent from a point on the Jackson and Canton road about 10 miles from Jackson) was mislaid, and at present cannot be found.

On Saturday, May 16, at Calhoun Station, I received a dispatch from Lieutenant-General Pemberton, dated 9. 10 a. m., Bovina, May 14, stating that he moves at once from Edwards Depot with his whole available force, explaining disposition of his troops, and closing dispatch by stating that he at once complies with my order. This dispatch I received in the afternoon, having waited here all day to be advised by General Pemberton of the direction of his

movements.