War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0375 Chapter XXXVI. THE SIEGE OF Vicksburg, MISS.

Search Civil War Official Records

On May 17, at 11 a. m., I received orders to prepare to evacuate the place and to send into Vicksburg the commissary stores, and to have driven in all the cattle, hogs, and sheep that could be gathered in the neighboring county. Having but a very small number of wagons and but a few mounted men, I however, commenced carrying out my instructions as far as practicable. At 2.45 p. m. I received orders to send to Vicksburg all ordnance stores, and to prepd. to spike or destroy the heavy guns. All remaining wagons ere loaded with ordnance sotes, and Colonel Isaac W. Patton was the commander of my heavy artillery. At 5. 30 p. m. I received the orders to march my command to Vicksburg leaving two companies at Snyder'S mill, under AN EFFICIENT OFFICER, to KEEP UP A SHOW OF OCCUPATION, and TO Strike OR destroy THE GUNS AND DESTROY remaining STORES WHEN THE ENEMY WOULD HE DISCOVERED APPROACHING THE POSITION. At THE SAME TIME I was ORDERED TO SEND ALL OUR TRANSPORTS AND STORE-BOATS THEN AT Haynes' Bluff TO THE Upper Yazoo, above Fort Pemberton. All the boats left in the evening and night, carrying off such stores as were on board at the time. Lieutenant Colonel J. P. Plattsmier, with two companies of his regiment the Twenty-first Louisiana, was assigned to the duty of holding the place and of destroying the guns and stores remaining when the necessities for so doing occurred.

Having made all arrangements possible under existing circumstances with reference to the post of Snyder's Mill, I moved with my command at 7. 30 p. m. by the Valley road to Vicksburg, where I reported myself at 2. 30 o'clock on the morning of May 18. I was immediately ordered to the trenches with instruction to occupy the line commencing with the works on the immediate right of the Jackson road, one 20-pounder Parrot gun, of Waddell's artillery, under Lieutenant Bates. Early in the day Colonel Isaac W. Patton received orders directly from the lieutenant-general commanding to return to Snyder['s Mill for the purpose of disposing of the guns and stores left there. These orders relieved Lieutenant Colonel Plattsmier of the charge I had assigned him, and I have therefore no report to make of what was really-finally abandoned at Snyder's Mill.

On May 18, soon after my command had been placed in the trenches, the enemy made his appearance in front my line, pressing forward on the Graveyard road, as if intending as assault. Taking one regiment and one battalion from my right, I sent him to re-enforce my left. After this change, and up to JUNE 2, my TROOPS WERE DISPOSED AS FOLLOWS: commencing WITH MY RIGHT, in the main work, in the immediate right of the Jackson road, twenty-first Louisiana Regiment with Companies C, and D, of the Twenty-THIRD Louisiana Regiment, attached. THIRD Louisiana Regiment, forty-THIRD Mississippi Regiment. The artillery was distributed along the line, with a few pieces kept in reserve.

At about 3. 45 on the 18th, the enemy opened artillery on the Graveyard road, but no attempt at a charge was made, as had been anticipated. His skirmishers pressed forward, however, and by nigh our skirmishers by direction of the lieutenant-general commanding were drawn into our lines, pickets alone being o[out out for the night. By the morning of the 19th, enemy had planted several batteries.