War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0401 Chapter XXXVI. THE SIEGE OF Vicksburg, MISS.

Search Civil War Official Records

directed to proceed to Big Black and there take position on the left of the bridge, to cover the crossing of our troops from the left bank, also to place the cavalry at my disposal above and below the bridge, to watch the approaches from Hayne' Bluff on the left, to Baldwin's Ferry on the right. I sent Major Rorer, twentieth Mississippi, to the left with three companies and Lieutenant Colonel Brown with seven companies to the right. Starting immediately, I had proceeded but a short distance toward the bridge when further instruction were brought by Colonel Jacob Thompson, inspector-general to cross the bridge and defend form the other side the crossing, which was already attacked by a larger force of the enemy, before whom our troops were about to give river, found our troops already on this die, having been compelled to leave in disorder, and the bridge on fire. General S. D. Lee's brigade was being posted on the left of the bridge. I posted my command on the right, collecting he shattered remnants of the Fourth MISSISSIPPI which had succeeded in crossing. This regiment had gallantly held its position on the other side until left alone by other commands adjoining. The enemy opened a brisk fire of artillery, which was returned by a few of our pieces from this side. After the lapse of about two hours, and order was received from the Lieutenant-general commanding directing me to cause all troops at this point to move immediately in the direction of Vicksburg, with the exception of my won, command, which was to remain until all had moved, and bring up the rear, in good order. This was executed. My command started at 12 o'clock. At Bovina I met Colonel Lyon, eight Kentucky Mounted Regiment whom I directed to cover the rear, adopting such measures, in case of their advance, to hold the enemy in check as circumstances should indicate. I reached Vicksburg at sunset, and was then directed to proceed to the Warrenton road and take position in the defenses of our extreme right, looking to the rear.

On Monday, the 18th instant, at 10 a. M two of my regiments were moved back to their old camping ground near the graveyard, on the north of the city. Two hours later the remainder of the command was directed to move in the same direction. Between the hours of 2 and 3 miles I was directed by Major-general Smith to occupy the outer line of defenses covering the left of the main works.

My command had scarcely got in position when the enemy appeared and at once deployed his sharpshooters, opening a brisk fire, which we were unable to return with effect. They soon placed artillery in position, and the fire was vigorously kept up until night. Two pieces of Ward's battalion had been placed on my extreme left. Two more pieces were sent to me, to be placed behind epaulements erected for the service of guns on my line, but the enemy's sharpshooters were enabled to approach so closely that I was confident no piece could be served longer than the minutes. Major Anderson, chief of artillery of the SECOND Brigade, was mortally wounded while passing I received orders to evacuate the outer line at 3 a. m. and occupy the liner and principal line of intrenchments, my right resting of Riddle's house, this was done, and at broad daylight my command was in the new position, the right wing of the SEVENTEENTH Louisiana my right being on the right of Riddle's house, to connect with General Shoups' brigade. Work was immediately commenced strengthening the defenses on all the unprotected intervals. Two regiment of MISSISSIPPI State troops, to with Colonel [H. C.] Robinson's, regiment and Lieutenant Colonel [T. A.]