Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/615

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gate present, 20,388; aggregate present and absent, 26,728.

The two brigades of Rust and Buford were ordered to Jackson early in April, and subsequently were attached to Loring’s division, mainly in Buford’s brigade of that division. Later in April Gregg’s brigade was also sent to Jackson. These additions probably increased the fighting strength in northern Mississippi on May 1st to 40,000 men, according to the returns.

On April 15th, General Stevenson reported that "Gen. S. D. Lee has returned fully impressed that the enemy is in force here (opposite Vicksburg). The troops at Lake Providence have been moved down. He has information that they will make an effort on our left, up Bayou Pierre in rear of Grand Gulf. Their concentration at Richmond and New Carthage indicate that intention. Our force opposite Grand Gulf has checked them. If they are removed, enemy can move down levee to Saint Joseph, nearly opposite Bayou Pierre." It thus appears that there was among the Confederate commanders a thorough knowledge and appreciation of the situation. Bowen visited Colonel Cockrell, and, believing he could hold a strong position without immediate danger and check the Federal advance, suggested this to Pemberton, at the same time indicating his readiness to withdraw Cockrell if so ordered. The withdrawal was peremptorily ordered and executed on April 17th. At the same time the Sixth Mississippi, First Confederate battalion, and one field battery, were sent from Jackson to reinforce Grand Gulf, and Green’s brigade from Vicksburg.

During this period considerable excitement was caused by the raft obstruction of the Yazoo at Snyder’s Mill giving way and opening the channel. Further up the river, near Greenwood, the indefatigable Capt. I. N. Brown had been constructing a little fleet of cotton clad gunboats, to aid in the defense of the Yazoo line. The raft was soon replaced, and gradually fear of a Federal attack in that quarter was allayed.