EDWARDS DEPOT, May 14, 1863.
Brigadier General John C. VAUGHN, Big Black Bridge:
GENERAL: The lieutenant-general directs that you be on the alert. Smith's [Federal] DIVISION is at Baldwin's Ferry, and they are still re-enforcing. He obtains this information from a Federal prisoner, a commissioned officer.
I am, general, very respectfully, &c.,
H. C. TUPPER,
HDQRS. DEPT. MISS. AND E. La., Edwards Depot, May 14, 1863.
Brigadier-General VAUGHN, Big Black:
You must send a company of your brigade to Bridgeport as a picket, and relieve a company of General Bowen's brigade now there on duty. You will order the company of General Bowen's brigade to rejoin their regiment as soon as relieved.
By order of Lieutenant-General Pemberton:
BROOKHAVEN, May 14, 1863-11. 45 p. m.
General JOSEPH E. Johnston,
GENERAL: I received your dispatch of this date about 12 o'clock today, directing me to turn back to my wagons:
You will [I am directed] take measures to save your [my] command, by crossing Pearl River and going to the Southern Railroad, unless you [I] can find a more judicious move. On the Southern Railroad you will find other troops.
The route to Port Hudson being open, as is doubtless known to you, and the Pearl River route to Southern Railroad suggested, with additional suggestions that I would find other troops there, I conclude that is the route you desire me to take, and as my men are exhausted from a very severe march, and are in need of meal, &c., I determined, while resting a day or so at this point, to send one of my staff for definite instructions as to places, route, &c.
I had received a dispatch from General Adams during the day, suggesting that I return to Port Hudson, &c., a copy of which I send-which came to hand after my command was in motion, at Hazlehurst- and fearing it might be a trick, I detached an engine, on which the superintendent of the road and one of my aides went to within 6 miles of Jackson, and then, meeting a hand-car, with a messenger bearing your dispatch, turned back. My desire is to go wherever you may think I can be of most service.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. B. MAXEY.
MAY 14, [1863.]
Halt. Don't come any farther. Fall back on your wagons, and don't come any farther up the road. Go in the direction of, or to, Port Hudson. We are evacuating Jackson.
56 R R-VOL. XXIV, PT. III