Today in History:

53 Series I Volume XXIV-I Serial 36 - Vicksburg Part I


All this time Logan's DIVISION was working upon the enemy's left and rear, and weakened his front attack most wonderfully. The troops here opposing us evidently far outnumbered ours. Expecting McClernand momentarily with four DIVISIONS, including Blair's, I never felt a doubt of the result. He did not arrive, however, until the enemy had been driven from the field, alter a terrible contest of hours, with a heavy loss of killed, wounded, and prisoners, and a number of pieces of artillery.

It was found afterward that the Vicksburg road, after following the ridge in a southerly direction for about 1 mile, and to where it intersected one of the Raymond roads, turns almost to the WEST, down the hill and across the valley in which Logan was operating on the rear of the enemy. One brigade of Logan's DIVISION had, unconscious of this important fact, penetrated nearly to this road, and compelled the enemy to retreat to prevent capture. As it was, much of his artillery and Loring's DIVISION of his army were cut off, besides the prisoners captured.

On the call of Hovey for more re-enforcements just before the rout of the enemy commenced, I ordered McPherson to move what troops he could by a left flank around to the enemy's front. Logan rode up at this time, and told me that if Hovey could make another dash at the enemy, he could come up from where he then was and capture the greater part of their force. I immediately rode forward and found the troops that had been so gallantly engaged for so many hours withdrawn from their advanced position, and were filling their cartridge-boxes. I directed them to use all dispatch, and push forward as soon as possible, explaining to them the position of Logan's DIVISION. Proceeding still farther forward, expecting every moment to see the enemy, and reaching what had been his line, I found he was retreating.

Arriving at the Raymond road, I saw to my left and on the next ridge a column of troops, which proved to be Carr's DIVISION, and McClernand with it in person; and to the left of Carr, Osterhaus' DIVISION soon afterward appeared, with his skirmishers well in advance. I sent word to Osterhaus that the enemy was in full retreat, and to push up with all haste. The situation was soon explained, after which I ordered Carr to pursue with all speed to Black River, and across it if he could, and to Osterhaus to follow. Some of McPherson's troops had already got into the road in advance; but having marched and engaged the enemy all day, they were fatigued and gave the road to Carr, who continued the pursuit until after dark, capturing a train of cars loaded with commissary and ordnance stores and other property.

The delay in the advance of the troops immediately with McClernand was caused, no doubt, by the enemy presenting a front of artillery and infantry where it was impossible, from the nature of the ground and the density of the forest to discover his numbers. As it was, the battle of Champion's Hill, or Baker's Creek, was fought mainly by Hovey's DIVISION, of McClernand's corps, and Logan's and Quinby's DIVISIONS (the latter commanded by Brigadier General M. M. Crocker), of McPherson's corps.

Ransom's brigade, of McPherson's corps, came on to the day's engagement, with directions to turn his corps toward Bridgeport, and to Blair to join him at this latter place.

At daylight on the 17th, the pursuit was renewed, with McClernand's corps in the advance. The enemy was found strongly posted on both