War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0324 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

enemy would certainly have forced battle from me before I should have reached the latter place.

"The consequence which, in my judgment, would have resulted from pursuing the instructions literally" would have been the certain fall of Vicksburg, almost without a blow being struck in its defense, so overwhelming a force could the enemy; y then have thrown, without opposition, on its small garrison. For further elucidation on this point, I beg leave to refer you to an examination of the positions on the map* accompanying my report.

In consequence of my great deficiency in cavalry, the force of that arm in m; y command being scarcely adequate for the necessary picketing, I was not"acquainted with the movements of the several corps of the enemy," but only knew, as before stated, that the general direction of the whole of Grant's army was to the northeast from its base on the Mississippi River.

General Johnston, when he sent me the first instructions for the movement on the detachment at Clinton, was not informed of the positions of the other detachments of the enemy, for he writes me on the next morning (the 14th) that another corps of the enemy, he learns, is at Raymond, to which he had not in any manner referred in his letter of the 13th. #

Having concluded that it would be suicidal to make the direct advance to Clinton, I would have attempted "no other compliance" with the order had the opinions of my general officers in any manner sustained me in so doing; but they being all eager for an advance, I made a movement, in the shortest possible time, to threaten the roads to Raymond and to Dillon, thus to cut off the supplies of the enemy, which a communication previously written (of the 14th) by General Johnstoned until after the battle of Baker's Creek, suggested.

General [J.] Gregg, with his brigade from Port Hudson, having arrived at a point near Jackson, and being without his wagon transportation, was ordered to take position at Raymond (that being an advantageous point for the collection of the troops either to move on the flank of the enemy advancing on Edwards Depot or to retire on Jackson), and on there being joined by the re-enforcements, which were expected and daily arriving at Jackson, including, as I hoped, a force of cavalry, to move on the flank and rear of the enemy should he attack me in position at Edwards Depot. To await and draw on this attack I had matured all my plans and arrangements. Vide following telegrams to Generals Gregg and Walker on this point where it will be seen that though General Gregg sustained the advance of the enemy nobly and bravely, my orders, however, were for him to retire on Jackson if attacked by a greatly superior force:

Vicksburg, May 11, 1863.

General GREGG:

From information from General Tilghman of the enemy being in force opposite the ferry at Baldwin's, it is very probable that the movement toward Jackson is in reality on Big Black Bridge, in which case you must be prepared to attack them in rear or on flank.

J. C. PEMBERTON,

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

Vicksburg, May 11, 1863.

Brigadier-General WALKER, Jackson:

Move immediately with your command to Raymond. General Gregg has been ordered, if the enemy advance on him in too strong force, to fall back on Jackson. You will do likewise in conjunction with him. If the enemy advance on you in not too

#Raymond is 8 miles from Clinton.

---------------

* To be found in Atlas.

---------------