War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0904 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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HDQRS. DEPT. MISS. AND E. La., Vicksburg, May 21, 1863.

Brigadier General John S. BOWEN, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding directs that you hold your entire force in readiness to move to the right, should the enemy make a strong attack at that point, of which there seems indications of an intention to do.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

LOUIS M. MONTGOMERY,

Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, ARMY OF Mississippi,

Vicksburg, May 21, 1863.

Major R. W. MEMMINGER, Assistant Adjutant-GENERAL:

SIR: I would again beg leave respectfully, but urgently, to suggest the propriety of assigning to my DIVISION some portion of the intrenchments, and allowing each DIVISION to have its own reserves at call. At present my men do double duty, some being always in the trenches, and those in reserve suffering more loss actually than the orders. Besides, their efficiency will be very greatly impaired by having to march long distances at a double-quick before getting to the scene of action.

Very respectfully,

JNO. S. BOWEN.

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, ARMY OF Mississippi,

Vicksburg, May 21, 1863.

Major R. W. MEMMINGER, Assistant Adjutant-GENERAL:

SIR: In reply to the order to " hold himself in readiness to move to the right," I have the following answer from Colonel Cockrell:

I found it absolutely necessary to place Colonels [J.] McCown and [A. C.] Riley in the ditches, or leave the space of the front of those two regiments wholly without any troops in the trenches. I have the SECOND, THIRD, and Sixth here ready to move in a moment. I have been doing my best yesterday and to-day to have Riley and McCown relieved by General [F. A.] Shoup and Colonel [W. W.] Witherspoon, but without success. Last night the enemy threw up trenches in our front, and have been shelling us most terrifically all morning; have our exact range, and are doing some little damage. Riley is just on the right of Shoup, and McCown is occupying a line on the left of Forney, in Colonel Witherspoon's brigade. If you desire the whole brigade moved-if becomes necessary to move at all-please notify me at once, and I will withdraw Riley and McCown, and leave Shoup and Witherspoon to care for their fronts. I still regard this point as one of the most assailable in our lines, so far as I have seen. We strengthened our lines as much as we could with our few spades and picks during last night, and are still working a little.

Yours, truly,

F. M. COCKRELL,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

In view of the above, I have the honor to request instructions for Colonel Cockrell's guidance.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. S. BOWEN.

HDQRS. DEPT. MISS. AND E. La., Vicksburg, May 21, 1863.

Major General John H. FORNEY, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: The lieutenant-colonel commanding directs me to say to you, in reply to your communication of to-day's date, that you are aware