Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/622

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Gen. Joseph E. Johnston arrived at Jackson on the evening of the same day, and assumed chief command in the State. He sent a note to Pemberton which was delivered on the morning of the 14th, containing these words: "I have lately arrived and learn that Major-General Sherman is between us with four divisions at Clinton. It is important to re-establish communications, that you may be reinforced. If practicable, come up on his rear at once. To beat such a detachment would be of immense value. The troops here could co-operate. All the strength you can quickly assemble should be brought. Time is all important."

Grant, immediately upon being informed of McPherson's success at Raymond had abandoned his plan of attack on Pemberton and began a movement of his entire army to strike the Confederate force at Jackson before it could be reinforced from other quarters. Consequently McClernand withdrew from before Edwards, and sent part of his corps to Clinton and part to Raymond, and an immediate attack on Jackson was ordered by Sherman from Clinton and by McPherson from Raymond. This was all done on the 13th, and at nine o'clock, on the same morning that Pemberton received the order to march against Sherman at Clinton, McPherson and Sherman were attacking the pickets at Jackson.

On receiving the order from Johnston, Pemberton replied that he would at once move his whole available force, about 16,000, from Edwards, leaving Vaughn's brigade, about 1,500, at Big Black bridge, and 7,500 men under Smith and Forney on the Vicksburg river lines. Tilghman’s brigade, about 1,500, would follow in rear of Pemberton’s column.

But before this movement was executed, Pemberton held a council of war, in which, he says, "a majority of the officers present expressed themselves favorable to the movement indicated by General Johnston. The others, including Major-Generals Loring and Stevenson, pre-