War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0125 Chapter XXXVI. BATTLE OF CHAMPION'S HILL, MISS.

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previously orders Major-General Loring and Stevenson to bring all of their DIVISION to Edwards Depot. I accompanied you to Bovina, and we reached there on the night of May 12. The next day the troops, consisting of Loring's Stevenson's and Bowen's DIVISION, were drawn up in line of battle in front of Edwards Depot. They remained all the 13th in line nothing was seen of the enemy. On the 14th, a communication was received from General [J. E.]Johnston, then at Jackson, informing you of the presence of the enemy in Clinton, and indicating a forward movement as desirable. Immediately a council of war was called, consisting of all the general officers. I was present at that council, and heard you views and those of the different officers expressed. You stated at great length, and to my mind with great force, that the leading and great duty of your army was to defend Vicksburg, the disposition and numbers of the enemy and your forces; the bad effect of a defeat, and the probability of such result if you moved forward. After canvassing it, their was not a voice in favor of moving on Clinton. But inasmuch as the enemy had moved in force on Jackson, leaving, as was supposed, only as single DIVISION on the Big Black, it was first suggested by General Loring, and afterward acquiesced in by all the other officers, that it would be wise and expedient to move the next day on the southern, or Raymond, road to Dillon's which was on the main leading road by which the enemy carried on hi communication, give battle to the DIVISION left in the rear, and then effectually break up the enemy's communications. In this council it seemed to be taken for granted by all the officers that the enemy was then engaged in an effort to reduce Jackson, and was, therefore, too far removed to participate in the expected fight. You gave in to the views of the officers with reluctance, and expressed yourself as doing so against your convictions. But being present and hearing everything said, I did not see how you could have done otherwise with af retaining your hold upon the army. It had been intimated to me again and again (yet I am frank so say I can trace the remark to no particular or responsible) that you were averse to a fight with the enemy, and that everybody believed the time for active operations had come. Though possessed of your views and concurring in them, yet this feeling had so great an influence on me that I believed at the time that a fight was inevitable, and so expressed myself to you. On the 14th, a heavy rain fell and raised the waters of Baker's Creek, over which we had to pass in going to Dillon's so that it could not be crossed without swimming. This necessitated the delay for the constructions of a bridge. Before this was completed, general Loring came to you and suggested that a bridge was standing on the middle Raymond road over which the troops could pass, and that beyond the bridge there was a fair road leading into the road it was intended to take. The suggestion was adopted, and the troops immediately put in motion. General Loring's DIVISION moved in front, general Bower's in the center and General Stevenson's in the rear. That night (15th) all troops crossed the bridge over Baker's Creek, and General Loring reached the lower road, general Tilghman's brigade being thrown forward of Mrs. Ellison's house, on the lower Raymond road. About 10 o'clock at night the troops bivouacked of the road connecting the two Raymond roads. We spent the night of the 15th at Mrs. Ellison's. Next morning about 7 o'clock a courier arrived from General Johnson, bringing the information that he had evacuated Jackson and had