War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0070 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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works at the bridge. No engineer operations were found necessary on the march, and the army reached its destination on the Raymond road about midnight on the 15th, the head of the column being halted beyond Mrs. Ellison's house, some 6 miles from Edwards Depot.

THE BATTLE OF BAKER'S CREEK, May 16*.

At 6. 30 a. m. on the 16th, a courier from General Johnston arrived, bringing information to the lieutenant-general commanding which made a countermarch necessary. I was directed by the lieutenant -general to inform the DIVISION commanders that such a move would be made immediately, and communicated his instructions to Major-General Stevenson and Brigadier-General Bowen. I returned to headquarters at Mrs. Ellison's about 7. 30, and heard as I reached the house the enemy's artillery open on the head of our column on the Raymond road. I was then directed by the lieutenant general to inform Major-General Stevenson that it would be necessary to form his DIVISION in line of battle on the cross-road from the Clinton to the Raymond road, with his left flank covering the former. Having communicated these instructions, I sent Sergeant Vernon to get a pioneer company from General Cumming's brigade, and directed him to throw bridge as soon as possible across Baker's Creek, on the main Raymond road, where the county bridge had been washed away. This bridge was constructed and the banks of the creek cut down leading to it by 2 p. m. From 8 a. m. Until about 11, I was engaged with my assistants in communicating orders from the lieutenant-general commanding in ridge, and so disposed as to cover all approaches from the front.

About noon the battle opened with considerable vigor on the left, and the enemy making an attempt to turn our left flank, rendered a corresponding movement necessary on our part. This movement opened a considerable gap between the DIVISIONS of Generals Stevenson and Bowen to keep the interval closed between himself and General Stevenson, and to General Loring to the same effect in reference to his and General Bowen's DIVISIONS. Between this and 3 p. m. I carried an order to General Loring to hold his whole DIVISION in readiness to move to the left, and to move his brigade(General Buford's) at once to join upon the right of General Bowen's command. Between 4 and 5 o'clock the enemy had succeeded by his vastly superior numbers in completely turning our left, and our troops began to break and fall back in considerable disorder toward the main Raymond road. I was then directed by the lieutenant-general to inform General Tilghman that the position he occupied was one of vast importance in securing our retreat, and that he must hold it at all hazards. I found General Tilghman had moved his brigade, and was marching along by road toward our left. On receiving the above order, he halted his command, and facing about, returned to the Raymond road, and took a position on a ridge some 600 yards in rear of his first [position], and just in front of the by road above mentioned, along which our army finally retreated.

In connection with this day's operations, I beg leave to mention especially Captain J. M. Couper, one of my assistants, who displayed great coolness, gallantry, and judgment in communicating instructions, and Sergeant Vernon, for energy and skill in constructing the bridge across Baker's Creek above mentioned.

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*For sketch, see opposite PAGE .

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