War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0114 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

saved, and the section of 24-pounder howitzer being posted on the WEST bank of the river, did valuable service in checking the enemy until we crossed. Soon I received orders to march to Vicksburg, which was done the same evening. Captain T. B. Wilson, of the SECOND Missouri Infantry, company G, claiming to have been exhausted, did not go with his company into the battle of Baker's Creek, and, having made his way to Big Black, joined his company in the rifle-pits early on the morning of the 17th instant, and, when his company was ordered to fall back, abandoned his company and remained lying in the rifle-pits, and was captured by the enemy, and while a prisoner stated to Colonel Elijah Gates, of the First Missouri Cavalry (who was also a prisoner), that he (Captain Wilson) interred to take the oath and then of to fighting the enemy as a guerrilla. Such conduct merits a dismissal in disgrace, and such an officer should not remain in the way of gallant and efficient officers now commanding his company. *

* * * * *

I have the honor, major, to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. M. COCKRELL, colonel, commanding First Brigade Missouri Volunteers.

Major R. W. MEMMINGER,

Assistant Adjutant-General to Lieutenant-General Pemberton.

HEADQUARTERS Missouri BRIGADE November 21, 1863.

COLONEL: Your favor asking information in regard to the battle of Baker's Creek is at hand, and I hasten to give you what information I possess. On May 15, the army moved from its position, south of Edwards Depot, back to Edwards Depot, and thence eastward near the railroad track, and crossed Baker's Creek on a bridge near and south of the railroad track, and moved eastward a short distance, and then moved to the right and south of the railroad. I was then colonel commanding First Brigade, in Bowen's DIVISION. We bivouacked that night between 9 and 10 o'clock near where the battle was fought next day, and while bivouacking discovered a number of lights, which I supposed to be the camp-fires of the enemy. This was the general conversation among officers and men of my brigade, that these lights were the enemy'; s campfires, and were supposed to be in the direction of and to the south of Clinton, MISS. I had no official information on reference to them. About 7 a. m. 16th instant, a brisk cannonade began between our cavalry (Colonel Wirt. Adams' regiment, I believe), and the enemy, about 1 mile in front of my brigade, on the road toward Raymond, MISS. Bowen's DIVISION formed the center of line, major-General Loring's DIVISION the right, and Major-General Stevenson's the left, and I presume Major Baker's Creek, over which our army had just passed. On the morning of the 16th, then, we had this road and bridge across Baker's Creek, and the ford on Baker's Creek leading from Edwards Depot to Raymond, MISS, which was in rear of and covered from right

---------------

*For portion here omitted, see "Siege of Vicksburg," pp. 414-418

---------------