and informed me that, having been ordered by Colonel Adams to picket the road leading from Raymond to Port Gibson and communicate with me, he had attempted to pass directly from Edwards Depot to the road below, without passing through Raymond, but had met the enemy at Dillon's, 9 miles distant from Raymond, and, being unable to pass, had returned. Fearing that it might be the purpose of the enemy to travel some one of the roads leading northeasterly into the road from Raymond to Jackson, and thus intercept my line of retreat, I ordered Captain [W. S.] Yerger, who had now come up and assumed command of the squadron, to picket all these roads, and give me early information of the enemy's movements in that direction.
Early next morning I was informed by couriers from Captain Hall that the enemy were advancing rapidly by the road from Utica. Owing to the smallness of the mounted force (Captain Hall having but 40 men, and these mostly youths from the neighborhood), I was unable to ascertain anything concerning the strength of the enemy. A dispatch from the lieutenant-general commanding intimated that the purpose of the enemy was supposed to be an advance upon Edwards Depot, and I inferred from it that it was possible that the force in front of me was a brigade on a marauding excursion. I was strengthened in this opinion by my scouts, who reported that the force they had seen was about 2,500 or 3,000. It was absolutely necessary for me to await their coming, or to fall back without knowing whether the force of the enemy was superior or inferior to my own.
The enemy moved up rapidly, and commenced an artillery fire upon my picket post at 10 o'clock.
In the mean time I had moved the Seventh Texas Regiment (Colonel [H. B.] Granbury) to support the picket at the junction of the Port Gibson and Utica roads, and had moved the FIFTIETH Tennessee Regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel [T. W.] Beaumont) out on the Lower Gallatin road, and ordered out the Tenth and Thirtieth Tennessee Regiments, consolidated (Colonel R. W. MacGavock), to support it. I also ordered up the THIRD Tennessee Regiment (Colonel C. H. Walker), a half mile out, and placed it in position between the roads. A single field, dotted with spots of timber, separated the Lower Gallatin and Utica roads, and the main force of the enemy was on the latter road. Finding that I would necessarily be driven into town by his artillery unless I moved up nearer, and believing from the evidence I had that his force was a single brigade, I made my dispositions to capture it. I moved the FIFTIETH, Tenth, and Thirtieth Tennessee across a portion of the field into the timber, to fall upon the enemy in rear of his battery, with instructions that they were to approach the enemy as near as possible and wait an attack by our right. I placed Captain [H. M.] Bledsoe, with his three pieces of artillery, on the road leading to Utica and Port Gibson, near their junction, directing him to select the most commanding position. near the artillery I posted the First Tennessee Battalion. I then ordered up the THIRD Tennessee into the open field to the right of the Tenth and Thirtieth Tennessee, and the Seventh Texas I moved by the left flank behind some timber to the right of the THIRD Tennessee. I then sent back an order to the Forty-first Tennessee (Colonel [R.] Farquharson) to move his regiment to the position just before occupied by the THIRD Tennessee. I then ordered forward both the Seventh Texas and THIRD Tennessee into the timber behind which the enemy's battery was posted, the enemy's skirmishers having already been firing upon them from that wood. Skirmishers being advanced, they moved forward in gallant style, and hardly lost a man until they entered the
47 R R-VOL XXIV, PT. I