General Gregg (who had just arrived with his brigade from Port Hudson and was then at Raymond) fully advised off the enemy's movements.
On the 11th, Brigadier General John Adams, commanding at Jackson, was directed to hurry forward, as fast as they could arrive, the troops from South Carolina, to re-enforce Brigadier-General Gregg at Raymond. At this time information was received from Brigadier-General Tilghman that the enemy was in force opposite Baldwin's Ferry, and Gregg was notified accordingly, and informed that the enemy's movements were apparently toward the Big Black Bridge, and not, as had been supposed, against Jackson.
On the 12th, the following was addressed to Major-General Stevenson:
From information received, it is evident the enemy is advancing in force on Edwards Depot and Big Black Bridge; hot skirmishing has been going on all the morning, and the enemy are at Fourteen-Mile Creek. You must move up with your whole DIVISION to the support of Loring and Bowen at the bridge, leaving Baldwin's and Moore's brigades to protect your right.
In consequence of this information, Brigadier-General Gregg was ordered not to attack the enemy until he was engaged at Edwards or the bridge, but to be ready to fall on his rear or flank at any moment, and to be particularly cautious not to allow himself to be flanked or taken in the rear. Thus it will be seen that every measure had been taken to protect Edwards Depot and Big Black Bridge, and, by offering or accepting battle, to endeavor to preserve my communications with the east. At this juncture, however, the battle of Raymond was fought by a large body of the enemy's forces and one brigade of our troops under the command of Brigadier-General Gregg.
I have received no official report of that affair, and hence cannot say how it was fought or by whom the engagement was brought on. Unofficial information represents Brigadier-General Gregg and his small command to have behaved with great gallantry and steadiness, but after an obstinate conflict of several hours they were finally overwhelmed by superior numbers and compelled to retire. The command was with drawn in good order, and retired to Jackson.
On the 14th, a large body of the enemy made their appearance in front of Jackson, the capital of the State. After some fighting, our troops were withdrawn, and the enemy took possession of the place; but as General Johnston was commanding there in person, his official report, which has doubtless gone forward, will furnish all the information required.
On the 12th, the following telegram was sent to General J. E. Johnston:
The enemy is apparently moving his heavy force toward Edward Depot, on Southern Railroad; with my limited force I will do all I can to meet him. That will be the battle-field if I can carry forward sufficient force, leaving troops enough to secure the safety of this place (Vicksburg). Re-enforcements are arriving very slowly, only 1,500 having arrived as yet. I urgently ask that more be sent; also that 3,000 cavalry be at once sent to operate on this line. I urge this as a positive necessity. The enemy largely outnumber me, and I am obliged to hold back a large force at the ferries on Big Black lest he cross and take this place. I am also compelled to keep considerable force on either flank of Vicksburg out of supporting distance.
The same dispatch was also sent to His Excellency President Davis on the same date.
The DIVISIONS of Major-Generals Loring and Stevenson moved from the line they had occupied between Warrenton and Big Black Bridge to Edwards Depot, General Stevenson being directed to keep well closed upon the rear of General Loring's column.