Today in History:

124 Series I Volume XXIV-II Serial 37 - Vicksburg Part II

Page 124 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

he had gone. I went to the left, in company which Colonel [J.]Thompson, and found that General Loring had moved to the left. This was told us by his couriers, who were pointed across the old field to stop stragglers. We then returned to let you know, and found the army all falling back in great confusion. I tried for some time to gather the men together, but without success; sone were the road crosses the railroad to Raymond. This I did, stopping the troops and turning them over to their different commands. General Barton and Cumming kept this place until ordered back. I then went back to join you at the Big. Black. On the morning of the 17th, after an early breakfast, your ordered me back to the bridge (was then at Bovina), and to place four pieces of artillery in position. This I did, placing two Napoleon guns and two 6-pounders. Other guns were afterward brought up by Colonel [W. T.]Withers, chief of artillery, who then took charge of the whole. By this Withers, chief of artillery, who then took charge of the whole. By this time our troops had broken and run from the works on the east side of the Big Black, and were crossing in great confusion. Again was the attempt made to rally the troops, but in vain. After trying to get them formed in some order on the bluff, I returned to where the artillery was firing, and remained until the order came to fall back. I then returned with the troops into the lines of the city of Vicksburg. This is as near as I can now recollect the amount of orders carried by me on the fields. There were, perhaps, some unimportant one I do not now remember.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,



Lieutenant General J. C. PEMBERTON.

ENTERPRISE, July 21, 1863. Until very lately I was not aware that you expected those members of your staff who were with you in the military movements in front of Vicksburg go furnish you a statement of the part they bore in the same. I seize the first opportunity to comply with, you request, so far as observations and experiences enable me to do so. After the landing of the enemy at Bruinsburg and the left of General Bower at Port Gibson, and the falling back of our troops to Big Black at the railroad bridge, and across that stream below the bridge, you resisted persistently the desire expressed in various quarters of the army to cross the Big Black River and to give him battle. For several days it was believed very generally that the enemy would attempt to cross the Big Black River at what are known as the lower ferries, and Warrenton on one side, the column moving of Edwards Depot of the railroad bridge on the other. The almost total want of cavalry not only kept you in ignorance of his movements, but deprived you off all means of annoying or retreading him in his movements. About May 11, information was received that at least one corps of the enemy's forces was moving on Raymond, and the probability was (though I do not thing it was certainly known) that a DIVISION, if not a corps, was moving on Edwards Depot. On the evening of the 12th, you left Vicksburg for Bovina, having

Page 124 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.