Number 31. Report of Brigadier General Martin E. Green, C. S. Army, commanding SECOND Brigade, Bowen's DIVISION. HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE, SECOND DIVISION, Big Black, May 11, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit the following report of the part taken by the troops under my command in the battle at Union Church, near Port Gibson, on May 1:
In the evening of April 29, I received an order from
Brigadier-General Bowen, commanding, to send a force of 500 men beyond Port Gibson, to take position and picket the different roads leading south. I accordingly sent, under command of Colonel [J. E.] Cravens, that part of his regiment (Twenty-first Arkansas) not on picket, the Fifteenth Arkansas, and TWELFTH Battalion Arkansas Infantry (sharpshooters), making in the aggregate a little over 400.
About 1 a. m. on the 30th ultimo, I received an order from the brigadier-general commanding to proceed at once to Port Gibson and take command of the forces; also stating that the Sixth Mississippi Infantry and Hudson Battery of Light artillery would report to me at that place. I accordingly set out for Port Gibson at once, accompanied by my staff, the balance of my brigade being on picket. Upon reaching Port Gibson, about 3 a. m., I found the command was posted on the Natchez road, about 1 1/2 miles from town. I sent for it and had it marched out on the Rodney road, and took position at the junction of the Rodney and Bruinsburg roads, where I was joined by the Sixth Mississippi and Hudson Battery. After picketing forward on the different roads, I went forward to reconnoiter the country and choose location for the battle. I went forward several miles examining the different locations, and was best pleased with the one near Union Church, where the battle was finally fought; but finding the enemy was advancing on both roads, I concluded not to change my position at the junction of the roads until I could get re-enforcements. In the evening General Bowen came up and informed me that Brigadier-General Tracy, with his brigade, would soon be up. A forward movement was at once decided upon. General Bowen went forward with me and decided to take the position previously selected by myself. General Bowen ordered that I should place two or three companies on the Bruinsburg road and the main force on the Rodney road; but after General Bowen left me, a scout that I had sent out returned and informed me that the enemy were advancing in force on both roads. This information caused me to change the disposition of the troops, and instead of two or three companies I sent General Tracy's entire brigade on the Bruinsburg road, I taking position on the Rodney road near Union Church, throwing pickets to the front about a mile, and forming my line on the crest of a hill running diagonally across the road, throwing out skirmishers, and ordering the men to sleep on their arms and be ready for action at a moment's warning.
About 12. 30 o'clock the pickets were driven in by the enemy. Soon the skirmishers of the enemy and mine became engaged, and in a few moments a six-gun battery of the enemy and mine became engaged, and in a few moments a six-gun battery of the enemy opened upon us, to which the Hudson Battery replied, the enemy still continuing to advance slowly. At times the musketry was very warm, extending the whole length of our line. The Hudson Battery, though in a very warm place, succeeded in driving the enemy's battery from its position. This, however, was soon replaced by another, which opened upon us with great fury. Our