operator with a dispatch from you to post my troops at some convenient point 40 or 50 miles from Jackson, &c. I selected this station, distant 44 miles from Jackson and some 45 miles from Canton.
I herewith send you a letter from General Beauregard to General Pemberton, intrusted to my care. I have telegraphed to Meridian for supplies, and will send a train after them to-day. If you desire me to move across the country to you, I would ask for at least 6 large wagons to be sent me for transportation of commissary stores, reserve ordnance, &c. I endeavored to make arrangements with reliable men in Brandon to gain and transmit information of enemy's movements. If I am to remain on this road, at least one company would be necessary for vidette duty. I have here about 1,500 men, and await your orders. I will establish to-day a telegraph station here, having brought the implements from the station nearest to Jackson.
Send me orders and directions for my own or any other troops that may arrive here. My brigade is divided, five companies of Forty-sixth Georgia Volunteers, Twenty-fourth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, and Eighth Georgia Battalion being with you.
I am, general, very respectfully and hastily, your obedient servant,
S. R. GIST.
[MAY 15, 1863. -For Beauregard to Johnston, proposing summer campaign relief of Vicksburg, &c., see Series I, VOL. XXIII, Part II, p. 836.]
FOUR MILES SOUTH OF EDWARDS DEPOT, May 16, 1863.
General JOSEPH E. Johnston:
Your letter, written on the road to Canton, was received this morning at 6. 30. It found this army on the middle road to Raymond. The order of countermarch has been issued. *
J. C. PEMBERTON.
CALHOUN STATION, May 16, 1863-7 p. m.
General PEMBERTON [?
GENERAL: I have just received a dispatch from Captain [W. S.] Yerger, informing me that a detachment of his squadron went into Jackson this morning just as the enemy was leaving it. They [the Federals] took the Clinton road. It is a matter of great anxiety to me to add this little force to your army, but the enemy being exactly between us, and consultation by correspondence so slow, it is difficult to arrange a meeting. I will take the route you suggest, however, if I understand it. We have small means of transportation, however. Send forward a little cavalry to communicate with me, orally. Is the force between us too strong for you to fight, if it interposes itself?
J. E. Johnston.
MAY 16, 1863.
General Barton determined to withdraw from the bridge, and ordered me to march with my command, in the rear of the infantry, to Edwards.
*Note on General Pemberton's copy says, "Sent off by General P. before being finished, copied. " See Johnston's report, Part I, p. 241.