the presence of the enemy permitted. They were abandoned, however, only after rendering them useless to the enemy.
We moved until near the ford we sought, and to gain which we had marched 10 or 12 miles instead of 2 or 3, and to a point where we had information that we could secure a guide. From him we learned that the ford was impassable, and that he could not pilot us during the darkness of the night to the fortifications near Big Black Bridge without crossing the lines of the enemy. The large fires on our right evidenced that the Yankees were at their usual works of arson in and around Edwards Depot.
A consultation was called by you and the facts laid before us. I expressed the opinion that to reach Vicksburg we must cross the Big Black River at some of the lower ferries, undoubtedly in presence of the enemy, and to reach even the nearest ferry we would have to march during the entire night, and if we crossed in safety would be in danger of being cut off. Our men were somewhat demoralized, our artillery abandoned, the troops intensely fatigued; we had but a few rounds of ammunition, the greater part of which would be ruined by swimming the river, as we had no means to build a bridge or boat. We had information that the enemy was crossing the river at several of the lower ferries, and the guide had declared it was impossible to pilot us to the fortifications without penetrating the lines of the enemy; hence our only feasible way of escape and to save the DIVISION was to move to the rear of the enemy and pass on his flank in the direction of the Jackson and New Orleans Railroad.
By neighborhood roads we moved during th the flank of the enemy, hourly expecting an attack, hearing the enemy conversing as we passed along, and crossing ravines and creeks, which proved the impossibility of moving artillery, and about 3 a. m. Sunday morning reached Dillon's, on the road from Grand Gulf to Raymond, and but a few miles distant from the battle-field. We thence marched to Crystal Springs, on the Jackson and Orleans Railroad, near which we camped on Sunday night.
We had marched steadily for twenty-four hours, a distance of 40 miles, stopping but short intervals to rest, and without provisions. The men were so exhausted that they fell as they came into camp, and nature sternly demanded rest and sleep.
On Monday we moved toward Pearl River, and thence continued the march to Jackson, which we reached on Wednesday, May 20. The troops of this brigade bore the march with great fortitude, making little, if any, complaint.
My entire loss in killed and wounded during the engagement of Saturday was 11 killed and 49 wounded. Among the former were Captain W. A. Isbell, company G, and Lieutenant T. S. Taylor, of Company I, twenty-seventh Alabama Regiment, and Lieutenant George C. Hubbard, acting as first lieutenant of Company F, thirty-FIFTH Alabama Regiment. The latter officer, being on a visit to the regiment, was assigned temporarily to duty by request of the captain. These officers are worthy all commendation as such, and their loss is felt.
Among the wounded was Colonel A. Baker, commanding FIFTY-fourth Alabama Regiment, who was wounded early in the engagement near the negro cabins.
I would call attention to the accompanying report of Colonel Scott, commanding Twelfth Louisiana Regiment; and of Captain