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We took prisoners from ten different regiments; and Johnston reports that Gregg's force numbered 6,000. Here McPherson and Logan were constantly under fire; the latter having his horse shot twice. McPherson's generalship and dash elicited the admiration of onr soldiers.
McPherson pushed on next morning" to Clinton, which lie entered unopposed at 2 p. M., and commenced tearing up the railroad thence toward Jackson; Gen. Sherman advancing simultaneously on the direct road from Raymond to Jackson. McPherson's march was resumed at 5 A. M. next day;" and, at 9 A. M., when five miles from Jackson, the enemy's pickets were driven in; and, proceeding 2£ miles farther, their main body was encountered in strong force, under Gen. W. H. T. Walker, whose command consisted partly of Soutli Carolina and Georgia troops, which had only arrived the evening before. A tremendous shower occurred while McPherson was making his dispositions, which delayed his attack for an hour and a half. At 11 A. M., the rain having nearly ceased, our soldiers advanced, preceded by a line of skirmishers, who were Rooii exposed to 60 heavy a fire that they were recalled to their regiments, when an order to charge was responded to with hearty cheers. Our whole line swept forward in perfect array, driving the enemy out of the ravine which covered their front, and up the hill ■whereon their batteries were posted; when, without having checked our momentum, they broke and fled precipitately, eagerly followed for a mile and a half, till our infantry was within range of the guns forming the de
fenses of Jackson; when McMurray's and Dillon's batteries were brought up and poured a deadly fire into the routed masses of the foe. Here our troops were halted and our lines reformed, while skirmishers were thrown out and officers 6ent forward to reconnoiter: these soon reported the capital of Mississippi evacuated; and, at 4 p. M., the flag of the 59th Indiana was waving over the dome of the State House; Sherman's command about this time entering the city from the south-west.
McPherson's loss in this collision was 37 killed, 228 wounded and missing; while that he inflicted on the enemy amounted, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, to 845. Our captures in Jackson included 17 pieces of artillery; while railroads, manufactories, and army stores, were extensively destroyed.
Grant was in Jackson directly after its capture; and, after giving orders to Sherman for the thorough destruction of its railroads, military factories, and stores, directed McPherson to retrace his steps next morning" to Clinton, following himself in the afternoon; impelling McClernand's corps westward next morning" upon Edwards's Station; while Sherman, having finished his work at Jackson, was ordered to evacuate that city and rejoin him so soon as might be; for Grant had learned in Jackson that Gen. Jo. Johnston, who had just arrived in our front and assumed" immediate command of the Rebel forces in this quarter, had ordered Pemberton to march out from Vicksburg and assail our rear: the Rebels routed in Jackson having fled northward from that city, as if intending
M May 15.
THE BATTLE OF CHAMPION HILLS.
to form a junction with Pemberton at some point on the Big Black, above the railroad. It was, therefore, Grant's business and purpose to prevent this conjunction by meeting and beating Pemberton before it could be effected. At 5 A. M.," Grant learned that Pemberton's force consisted of 80 regiments, with 10 batteries of artillery, probably numbering in all about 25,000 men," now eagerly advancing with intent to fall unexpectedly on his rear; and he resolved to anticipate the delivery of this blow. Pushing forward Blair's division toward Edwards's Station, he directed McClernand to follow, with that of Osterhaus; McPherson, with his entire corps, following directly.
Pemberton was in position near Edwards's Station, when he received" a dispatch from Johnston suggesting —lie says not ordering—a combined attack on McPherson, then at Clinton, and called a council to consider the proposition. After hearing its advice, he decided to attack next morning; but was delayed by the swollen condition of a branch of Baker's creek till afternoon; when he advanced four or five miles, and took up a strong position on Champion Hills, southward of the railroad, and about midway between Jackson and Vicksburg. Here he received, next morning,'0 a note from Johnston, directing him to move northward, so as to form a junction with his own shattered forces, most of which had so recently been driven out of Jackson. Pemberton thereupon ordered his trains sent back toward the Black, and would have followed with his army, but it was too late; Gen. Hovev's division, of McClernand's
'A Rebel report saya 17,500.
corps, being now close upon him, and the rest of McClernand's, followed by McPherson's corps, rapidly coming up.
Gen. Grant now reached the front, and found Hovey's skirmishers close to the enemy's pickets, while his troops were rapidly coming into line, and might, had they been strong enough, have opened the battle at any moment. The enemy in their front held a very strong position on a narrow ridge, with his left resting on a height, where the road toward Vicksburg made a sharp turn to the left, with the crest of the ridge and his left flank covered by a dense forest. McPherson's corps, except Ransom's brigade, soon came up, and was thrown to the right, so as to threaten the enemy's rear. Still, our numbers on the field were inadequate, and Grant forbade an attack until he could hear from McClernand, who was advancing with two divisions, from Bolton Station on our right, but on parallel roads which converged two miles east of Edwards's Station. But, while Grant was thus impatiently listening for the sound of McClernand's guns, and sending him orders to push forward rapidly, the firing between Hovey's and the Rebel skirmishers gradually grew, by 11 A. M., into a battle; and— since a single division could not long resist two or three times its numbers —one brigade and then another of Crocker's division was sent in to Hovey's support; while McPherson's other division, under Logan, was working effectively upon the enemy's left and rear, essentially weakening his efforts in front. McClernand's remaining divisions failed to arrive at the front, a May 14. "May 16.
however, until after the enemy had been driven with heavy loss from the field; Logan's division having penetrated so nearly to the road leading to Vicksburg as to cut off Loring's division from Pemberton, and compel it to retreat deviously southward, evading our left, and narrowly escaping capture, by the sacrifice of all its guns; thus reaching Jackson on the 19th.
The credit of this victory devolves mainly on Hovey and his heroic division, which was for hours closely engaged with superior numbers strongly posted and well covered by the dense forest, who fought gallantly, and repeatedly crowded back our line by the sheer weight of that opposing it. When his infantry had thus been crowded back from the ridge they had carried by desperate fighting, and compelled to abandon 11 Rebel guns they had taken, Hovey massed his artillery, strengthened by Dillon's Wisconsin battery, on elevated ground at his right, and opened on the advancing foe an enfilading fire that arrested and turned them back, under a tempest of cheers from our boys. The loss of this single division was 211 killed, 872 wounded, and 119 missing: total, 1,202—about one-third of its force, and nearly half our entire loss in the battle. But McPherson's corps fought, so far aa it had opportunity, with equal gallantry, and was handled with equal skill; Stevenson's brigade making a brilliant charge across ravines, up a hill, and through an open field, cap
:I Grant evidently blames AfcClernaiid for lack of energy in this battle; though he says:
"The delay in the advance of the troop3 immediately with McClernand was caused, no doubt, by the enemy presenting a front of artillery and infantry where it was impossible, from
turing seven guns and several hundred prisoners, and thus gaining the road in the Rebel rear, which cut off Loring's retreat, and compelled him to escape as he could.
Before the Rebel defeat was decided, ITovey having repeated his call for ^enforcements, Grant ordered McPherson to advance whatever of his corps was still disposable by the left to the enemy's front; and, proceeding himself to observe this movement, he discovered that the Rebels were in full retreat. On reaching the Raymond road, he saw Carr's and then Osterhaus's division of McClernand's corps, well advanced on the left, and ordered them to pursue the enemy with all speed to the Black, and, if possible, across that river. This pursuit continued till after dark; resulting in the capture of a train of cars loaded with provisions and munitions, but very little else;" though the Rebels lost considerably in munitions and stores, which they were obliged to abandon to the flames.
Sherman's corps had no part in this engagement, being still on its way from Jackson when it closed; and Ransom's brigade of McPherson's corps only arrived after the enemy had retreated. As but three divisions of McClernand's corps were even constructively present, it is morally certain that this action was fought by fewer men on our side than on that of the Rebels.
Grant reports our loss in this desperate struggle at 426 killed, 1,842 wounded, and 1S9 missing: total,
the nature of the ground and the density of the forest, to discover his numbers. As it was, the battle of Champion Hills, or Baker's creek, was fought mainly by Hovey's division of McClernand's corps and Logan's and Qniuby's divisions (the latter commanded by Brig-Gen. M. M. Crocker) of McPherson's corps."
THE BIG BLACK.
2,457. The Kebels lost quite as heavily in killed and wounded, some 2,000 prisoners, 15 or 20 guns, with thousands of small arms, ore. Among their killed was Gen. Lloyd Tilghman, of Maryland.
Next morning," the pursuit being renewed, the enemy were found strongly posted on the Black, with a bold, wooded bluff directly at the water's edge on the west side, while on the east, an open, cultivated bottom, nearly a mile broad, has a bayou of stagnant water, ten to twenty feet wide and two to three feet deep, to the east of it. This had been made to serve as a wet ditch, with a line of rifle-pits behind it; and here Carr's division was stopped two or three hours, until Lawler, commanding his right brigade, discovered a way of approach whereby it could be successfully assaulted, and ordered a charge, which was gallantly made; but the volley which was fired by the enemy at close range as his command rushed across the level, open ground, down to the bayou, taking our column in flank, swept down 150 of our men. None faltered nor turned back, however, nor even stopped to fire till they were all across the bayou; when, pouring in a deadly volley, without waiting to reload, they swept on with fixed bayonets, leaving the Rebels, who had not yet found time to reload, no choice but surrender. Gen. Osterhaus, who with his division had come up on our left, was here wounded by a fragment of shell.
Beside the railroad bridge, Pemberton had constructed an army bridge over the Black, composed mainly of three steamboats; across which, all "May 1".
his men who could reach it fled, leaving 18 guns, 1,500 prisoners, several thousand stand of arms, and large quantities of commissary stores, to fall into the hands of the victors, whose entire loss here was but 29 killed, and 242 wounded. But the bridges were of course burned by the fugitives; and the deep river, with its forest-covered western bluff lined with sharp-shooters, baffled our advance for hours. Our only pontoon train was with Sherman, now on his way to Bridgeport, several miles farther up; and our attempts to force a passage, under cover of a fire of artillery, were baffled until after dark; when the Rebels, aware that they would be flanked if they attempted to remain here, fell back to the friendly shelter of the fortifications of Vicksburg.
Floating bridges having been constructed here and three miles above, during the night, the passage of both McClernand's and McPherson's corps commenced at 8 A. M.;" Gen. Sherman crossing simultaneously on his pontoons at Bridgeport, and pressing on to within 34 miles of Yicksburg; when, turning to the right, he took possession, unopposed, of "Walnut Hills and the banks of the Yazoo adjacent. McPherson, striking into Sherman's road, followed it to the point where the latter had obliqued to the "Walnut Hills, where he halted for the nighf; while McClernand, advancing on the direct highway from Jackson nearly to Vicksburg, swayed to the left, so as to cover the roads leading into that city from the south-east; so that by next morning the investment of the doomed city was substantially complete; while
~ '» May IS.