War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0262 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI

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was adopted, and the following dispatch was addressed to General Johnston:

EDWARDS DEPOT, May 14, 1863.

I shall move as early tomorrow morning as practicable 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. The object is to cut the enemy's communications and to force him to attack me, as I do not consider my force sufficient to justify an attack on the enemy in position or to attempt to cut my way to Jackson. At this point your nearest communication would be through Raymond. I wish very much I could join my re-enforcements. Whether it will be most practicable for the re-enforcements to come by Raymond (leaving it to the right if the march cannot be made through Raymond) or to move them WEST along the line of railroad (leaving it to the left and south of the line of march) to Bolton Depot, or some other point WEST of it, you must determine. In either movement I should be advised as to the time and road, so that co-operation may be had to enable the re-enforcements to come through. I send you a map of the country, which will furnish you with a correct view of the roads and localities.

Pursuant to the plan laid down in this dispatch, the army was put in motion on the 15th, about 1 p. m., in accordance with the following order, viz:

SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPT. OF Mississippi AND EASTERN LOUISIANA, Number -. Edwards Depot, May 14, 1863.

This army will move tomorrow morning (15th instant) in the direction of Raymond, on the military road, in the following order:

1. Colonel Wirt Adams' cavalry will form the advance guard, keeping at least 1 mile in advance of the head of the column, throwing out one company in front of his column and a small detachment in its advance, besides the flankers upon his column, when practicable.

2. Loring's DIVISION will constitute the right and the advance in the line of march. He will throw a regiment of infantry, with a section of artillery, at least 200 yards in his front, with a company of infantry at least 75 yards in its advance, all with the necessary detachments and flankers.

3. Bowen's DIVISION will constitute the center, and will follow the leading DIVISION.

4. Stevenson's DIVISION will constitute the left, bringing up the rear of the column.

5. The artillery of each brigade will march in the rear of their brigade.

6. The ambulances of each brigade will follow in the rear of their brigade.

7. The ordnance wagons of each DIVISION will follow in the rear of their DIVISION.

8. The wagon train will follow in rear of the entire column.

9. Should Tilghman's brigade arrive after the departure of the column, it will constitute, with a field battery, the rear guard, following immediately in rear of the wagon train.

10. A company of Wirt Adams' cavalry will close the order of march.

11. The wagon train will follow in the order of DIVISION; that is to say, the wagon train of Loring's DIVISION on the right of the train; that of Bowen's DIVISION in the center,&c. Quartermasters, commissaries, and ordnance officers will remain with their trains unless otherwise ordered. Straggling, always disgraceful in an army, is particularly forbidden. Stringent orders will be issued by permit no one to fall to the rear under any circumstances.

A continuous and heavy rain had made Baker's Creek impassable by the ordinary ford on the main Raymond road, where the country bridge had by previous freshets. In consequence of this, the march was delayed for several hours, but the water not falling sufficiently to make the creek fordable, the column was directed by the Clinton road, on which was a good bridge, and, after passing the creek upward of 1 1/2 miles, was filed to the right along a neighborhood road, so as to strike the Raymond road about 3 1/2 miles from Edwards Depot. The march was continued until the head of the column had passed Mrs. Elliston's house, where it was halted, and the troops bivouacked in order of march. I made my headquarters at Mrs. Elliston's, where I found Major-General Loring had also established his.

The DIVISIONS of Generals Stevenson and Bowen having been on the march until past midnight, and the men considerably fatigued-desiring