War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0264 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI

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retire. I then directed Major-General Loring to move forward and crush the enemy in his front, and directed General Bowen to co-operate with him in the movement. Immediately on the receipt of my message, General Bowen rode up and announced his readiness to execute his part of the movement as soon as Major-General Loring should advance. No movement was made by Major-General Loring, he informing me that the enemy was too strongly posted to be attacked, but that he would seize the first opportunity to assault, if one should offer. The enemy still making strenuous efforts to turn Major-General Stevenson's left flank, compelled him to make a similar movement toward the left, thus extending his own line and making a gap between his and Bowen's DIVISIONS. General Bowen was ordered to keep this interval closed, and the same instructions were sent to General Loring in reference to the interval between his and General Bowen's DIVISION.

General Stevenson having informed me that unless re-enforced he would be unable to resist the heavy and repeated attacks along his whole line. Bowen was ordered to send one brigade to his assistance, which was promptly brought forward under Colonel F. M. Cockrell, and in a very short time his remaining brigade, under the command of Brigadier General Martin E. Green, was put in, and the two together, under their gallant leaders, charged the enemy, and for the time turned the tide of battle in our favor, again displaying the heroic courage which this veteran DIVISION has made conspicuous on so many stricken fields.

The enemy still continued to move troops from his left to his right, thus increasing his vastly superior forces against Stevenson's and Bowen's DIVISIONS. Feeling assured that there was no important force in his front, I dispatched several staff officers in rapid succession to Major-General Loring, ordering him to move all but one brigade (Tilghman's, which was directed to hold the Raymond road and cover the bridge and ford at Baker's Creek) to the left as rapidly as possible. To the first of these messages, sent about 2 p. m., answer was returned by Major-General Loring that the enemy was in strong force in his front, and endeavoring to flank him. Hearing no firing on the right, I repeated my orders to Major-General Loring, explained to him the condition of affairs on the left, and directed him to put his two left brigades into the fight as soon as possible. In the transmission of these various messages to and from, over a distance of more than a mile, much valuable time was necessarily consumed, which the enemy did not fail to take advantage of.

About 4 p. m. a part of Stevenson's DIVISION broke badly and fell back in great disorder, but were partially rallied by the strenuous exertions of myself and staff, and put back under their own officers into the fight, but observing that large numbers of men were abandoning the field on Stevenson's left, deserting their comrades, who in this moment of greatest trial stood manfully at their posts, I rode up to General Stevenson, and informing him that I had repeatedly ordered two brigades of General Loring's DIVISION to his assistance, and that I was momentarily expecting them, asked him whether he could hold his position; he replied that he could not; that he was fighting from 60,000 to 80,000 men. I then told him I would endeavor myself to find General Loring and hasten him up. and started immediately with that object. I presently met Brigadier-General Buford's brigade, of Loring's DIVISION, on the march and in rear of the right of Bowen's DIVISION.

Colonel Cockrell, commanding the First Missouri Brigade, having in person some time previously urgently asked for re-enforcements, which (none of Loring's troops having come up) I was then unable to give