War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0534 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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and Birdsong-one, a floating bridge, already existed at the railroad crossing. On the evening of July 6, general Ord crossed with his corps the railroad bridge; General Steele, with the Fifteenth, crossed at Messinger's, at General Parke at Birdsong. On the 7th, all marched by separate roads to Bolton, and the following day to Clinton. The weather was intensely hot, dust stifling and the enemy made no serious opposition to our progress. But evidence accumulated at each step that Johnston's army, composed of four strong DIVISION on infantry, viz, Loring's, french's, walker's, and Breckinridge's, with Jackson's DIVISION of cavalry and a large proportion of field artillery, was falling back before us on Jackson. I first expected him to fight us at Clinton, and afterward on the hill in front of Jackson, the same where in May last he had encountered General McPherson. Our approach as therefore. Cautions, the three corps moving by separate roads; Ord on the right, Steele center, and Parke left. Nothing word recording occurred till the head of Steele's column was nothing 600 yards of the enemy'; s line on the Clinton road, when a heavy 6-inch rifle shot warned us to prepared four serious work. This was about 8 a. m. Of July 9. Generals Parke and Ord, having to move across the fields, required more time to reach their positions, and had to skirmish pretty briskly to drive the enemy to cover. Having been in Jackson during our former movement in May, I was somewhat familiar with the nature of the ground, and on a personal reconnaissance saw enough to convince me that Johnston was in Jackson with his whole army, and that he had anticipated pursuit and a siege, and had prepared accordingly. The parapets we had found in May last had been enlarged and much strengthened, and on the Clinton and Canton roads to two heavy 6-inch rifled guns had been mounted en batbette, and at many points along the parapet were well-constructed embrasures of sod a cotton bales. The lines, too, had been much extended, so as to rest on Pearl River, and trees had been felled to afford range for his guns, and to obstruct our movements. A map of Jackson, herewith inclosed,*compiled with great care and labor by Captain Jenney, of the Engineers, on my staff conveys a better idea of the place that any description I might give. The movement I became satisfied that the enemy had taken refuge in Jackson for battle, I determined to hold him there, whilst by means of cavalry and light columns of infantry I could fulfill the SECOND part of General Grant's orders, viz,"destroy the Great Central Railroad north and south, and damage the enemy as much as possible"-not alone for the present, but in all future operations-and at the same time gradually work round by one flank or the other, threaten to cross Pearl River, and operate of the enemy's only line of communications to his rear. General Od, therefore excepted his lines to the right so as to cross the railroad and threaten Pearl River, and General Parke his left so as to embrace the railroad north of Jackson and approach Pearl River on the flank. Each of these commanders kept one bridge constantly employed in breaking up railroad truck, burning the ties, and bending the iron so as to render it useless in making future repairs. At the same time Colonel Bussed was dispatched with his cavalry north as far as Canton, 26 miles to destroy cars and track, and the cavalry of General Od's corps, under Major Fullerton, to the south, the destroy bridges our for 15 miles.

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*To appear in Atlas.

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