of the reserve, namely, the Ninety-FIFTH Ohio, and make a detour to the right to wee what was there. While he was gone, Steele's DIVISION closed up. About 1 p. m. Captain Pitzman returned, reporting that he had found the enemy's intrenchments abandoned at the point where they crossed the railroad, and he had left the Ninety-FIFTH Ohio there in possession. I at once ordered General Steele to lead his whole DIVISION into Jackson by that route, and as soon as I heard the cheers of his men, Tuttle's DIVISION was ordered in by the main road. The enemy's infantry had escaped to the north by the Canton road, but we captured about 250 prisoners with all the enemy's artillery (eighteen guns), with much ammunition and valuable public stores.
Disposing the troops on the outskirts of the town, in obedience to a summons from General Grant, I met him and General McPherson at the hotel near the State-house, and I received orders to at once occupy the line of rifle-pits, and on the following day to destroy effectually the railroad tracks in and about Jackson, and all the property belonging to the enemy. Accordingly, on the morning of May 15, Steele's DIVISION was set to work to destroy the railroad and property to the south and east, including Pearl River Bridge, and Tuttle's DIVISION that to the north and WEST. This work of destruction was well accomplished, and Jackson, as a railroad center or Government depot of stores and military factories, can be of little use to the enemy for six months.
The railroads were destroyed by burning the ties and warping the Iron. I estimate the destruction of the roads 4 miles east of Jackson, 3 south, 3 north, and 10 WEST.
In Jackson the arsenal buildings, the Government foundry, the gun carriage establishment, including the carriages for two complete six-gun batteries, stable, carpenter and paint shops were destroyed. The penitentiary was burned, I think, by some convicts who had been set free by the Confederate authorities; also a very valuable cotton factory. This factory was the property of the Messrs. Greene, who made strong appeals, based on the fact that it gave employment to very many females and poor families, and that, although it had woven cloth for the enemy, its principal use was in weaving cloth for the people, but I decided that machinery of that kind could so easily be converted into hostile uses that the United States could better afford to compensate the Messrs. Greene for their property, and feed the poor families thus thrown out of employment, that to spare the property. I therefore assured all such families if want should force them they might come to the river, where we would feed them till they could find employment or seek refuge in some more peaceful land. Other buildings were destroyed in Jackson by some mischievous soldiers (who could not be detected) which was not justified by the rules of war, including the Catholic church and Confederate Hotel-the former resulting from accidental circumstances and the latter from malice.
General Mower occupied the town with his brigade and two companies of cavalry, and maintained as much order as he could among the mass of soldiers and camp-followers that thronged the place during our short stay there; yet many acts of pillage occurred that I regret, arising from the effect of some bad rum found concealed in the stores of the town.
On the morning of the 16th, I received a note from General Grant, written at Clinton, reporting the enemy advancing from Edwards Depot, and ordering me to put in motion one of my DIVISIONS toward Bolton, and to follow with the other as soon as I had completed the work of destruction ordered.