Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/625

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time is left him. Let me hear from you immediately."

Pemberton started out from Edwards toward Raymond on the morning of the 15th, Loring in advance with the brigades of Featherston and Buford, and Bowen following with the brigades of Cockrell and Green. Stevenson, with the brigades of Lee, Barton, Cumming and Reynolds, left Edwards in the evening. The road southeast from Edwards makes a Y before reaching Baker’s creek, one branch going on toward Raymond and the other turning off toward Clinton. As the high water had destroyed the bridge and made the ford impassable on the Raymond road, the army was forced to take the Clinton road across the creek and then, after reaching Champion’s Hill, it marched in column down a transverse road until Loring’s division reached the Raymond road again. Night now came on and the army bivouacked in this position. On the morning of the 16th Pemberton received Johnston’s third message, announcing the evacuation of Jackson and conveying the impression that Grant intended to keep his main forces there, and he immediately ordered the column to march in inverse order, Stevenson in front, eastward toward Clinton. But just as this movement began, Federal artillery opened on Loring.

Johnston's first message had been sent in triplicate, and one of the couriers, a traitor, had delivered it to Grant on the evening of the 14th. Consequently the Federal commander, leaving Sherman to destroy Jackson as a railroad center and manufacturing city, hurried McClernand and McPherson toward Bolton. On the night of the 15th, when Pemberton’s army was in bivouac beyond Baker’s creek, Hovey's division was on his flank at Bolton, with Carr and Osterhaus and the advance of McPherson's corps near at hand, while Smith and Blair were not far from Loring on the Raymond road. All of these troops had orders to move with the utmost expedition to prevent any junction of Pemberton and Johnston. It was the advance of Smith’s division,