War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0672 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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in the redoubts and rifle-pits, the right wing of my regiment testing on the Liverpool road and the left on the Vicksburg road, 1 mile from the city. Captain [James A.] Hoskins' light battery was planted--three pieces on the Vicksburg road and one on the Liverpool road.

In the mean time the baggage cooking vessels, &c., were placed on the wagons and sent 2 miles north of town. About 10 p. m. I received a dispatch informing me that General Cosby had engaged the enemy neat Canton, and upon receipt of this information I immediately ordered the wagons and baggage on the boats, believing it impossible to retreat across the country, if retreat should become necessary. Consequently I determined, if retreat should be inevitable, to go up the river and join General Chalmers.

Early on the 13th, I called on Lieutenant Johnson for four reliable cavalrymen, whom I posted down the river, 5 miles distant from each other. About 10 a. m. one of these came in and reported four gunboats and six transports passing Liverpool up the river. Shortly afterward another picket came in from the opposite side of the river, confirming previous reports. Lieutenant Johnson and Adjutant [John E.] Hoey also made a reconnaissance, and assured me the boats were coming up the river. About 12 m. another picket came in and reported the enemy landing 3 miles below the city, though he could give no positive information as to their strength or the number of transports landing. I immediately sent Captain Sanders and Lieutenant Johnson, with about 20 men (mounted), to ascertain, if possible, their strength and movements. About 3 p. m. one gunboat appeared in sight of our battery of heavy guns, which promptly opened fire upon her at a distance of 1 1/2 miles. She halted, replied, and a brisk cannonade ensued, lasting about half on hour, when she ceased firing and backed out of sight down the river. During this firing, Lieutenant Johnson returned and reported Captain Sanders and 3 men cut off, the enemy moving up Short Creek, endeavoring to turn our left flank. Soon after another picket from the Mehorse killed, and confirmed Lieutenant Johnson's report as to the enemy's direction. Shortly after, a picket fromported the Saint Mary, a small picket-boat, captured. this boat was up the river a distance by water of 7 miles, but by land only 3 miles. The other boats were still higher up the river. Those which were wooded moved up the river, and those not wooded were burned. Captain [W. T.] Edwards, acting commissary of subsistence, carried the commissary stores off on those boats which escaped. One hundred beef-cattle near Benton I ordered out by way of Lexington.

About 5 p. m. I determined to evacuate the place, finding I was entirely overpowered and almost surrounded. I concentrated my forces at the redoubt on the Canton road, half a mile from town, except Captain [Robert] Voigt, of Waul's Texas Legion, who, refusing to obey my orders relative to the evacuation, was with his company(C) captured by the enemy, when he could have escaped with the rest of the command. I considered it dangerous to send after him when I found he refused to come out, the enemy being then in sight on the WEST bank of the river. I ordered Captain [Isaac N.] Brown, C. S. Navy, to destroy or render useless the heavy artillery, which he failed to do, informing me afterward that he did not have time, and to destroy them by blowing up would have given the enemy notice of our intention to evacuate and thereby endanger our retreat.

I moved the command about 7 p. m. toward Lexington, via Benton, crossed the railroad at Goodman, and Pearl River at Edwards Ferry,