War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0816 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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Vicksburg, May 2, 1863.

Brigadier-General BOWEN,

Grand Gulf, via Rocky Springs:

If you are holding your position on the Bayou Pierre, and you communication is open by the Big Black to this place, continue to hold it. I am informed that you have fallen back to Grand Gulf. If this is so, carry out my instructions, just sent in cipher.


Vicksburg, May 2, 1863-4. 30 p. m.

Brigadier-General BOWEN, via Rocky Springs:

You must endeavor to cross Big Black, abandoning Grand Gulf, and destroying guns, ammunition, and stores.


HEADQUARTERS, Grand Gulf, May 2, 1863.


Assistant Adjutant-GENERAL:

MAJOR: The enemy, who have been threatening my front all day, have this afternoon bridged the Bayou Pierre, to the east of Port Gibson, and are moving on the Jackson road. Should they reach the junction before me, I will be completely cut off and invested, with scarcely any breadstuffs, and no intrenchments in my rear. Grant's army is at least five times as large as my command, and I am satisfied I cannot give him battle in the open field to advantage. Regarding the safety, or rather the saving, of the army as paramount, it being necessary to assist in the defense of Vicksburg or Jackson, I had determined to abandon this position and fall back in the direction of Jackson or Vicksburg before the arrival of Generals Loring and Tilghman. Upon my laying all the facts in my possession before them, they are of opinion that my only hope is in the proposed move. General Loring, having just arrived, has requested me to put the army in motion, when he will assume command and conduct the retreat. He requests that you will endeavor to communicate with him at Rocky Springs. From the fact that re-enforcements were constantly arriving, I have been induced to delay this movement, and my only fear is that I may be too late.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Vicksburg, May 2, 1863-6. 30 a. m.

Major-General BUCKNER, Mobile:

You must assist me in defending Mobile and Ohio Railroad. I have to send all the troops I can raise to aid General Bowen.


Vicksburg, May 2, 1863.

Major-General BUCKNER, Mobile:

I have just received the following:

COLUMBUS, May 1, 1863.

Following dispatch just received from Mr. Burton, 11. 30 p. m.:

"Four thousand of the cavalry camped at New Albany last night-one brigade of infantry, 800 cavalry, and twelve pieces of artillery. Citizens report them at Chesterville this evening. "