Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/630

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145
CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

came up, and was put in position to cover the retreat which was now ordered.

Major Lockett having provided a new bridge, and the ford being now passable on the Raymond road, the retreat was made that way, Tilghman's brigade covering the movement from McClernand. While engaged in this service the gallant Marylander was killed. After Lee had crossed, Bowen formed to cover the passage of Loring from the Federals, who had crossed the creek on the road direct from Champion’s Hill and threatened to cut off the Confederate retreat. Bowen reported that he notified Loring to hurry, but according to the latter the enemy commanded the crossing before he could reach it, and consequently, abandoning his artillery, Loring took his troops down the creek to find another ford, and finally turned back and, marching all night, reached Dillon’s at 3 a. m. Thence he went to Crystal Springs and united with Johnston at Jackson.

Thus Loring’s division was lost to Pemberton, except a part of Lowry’s regiment, under Maj. J. R. Stevens, which had become accidentally attached to another command. The army train was saved by Reynolds’ brigade, which was compelled to cross the Big Black at Bridgeport. There was no lack of heroic fighting in this disastrous battle on the part of the Confederates, and it may be said that the disparity of numbers did not necessarily involve so decided a defeat, provided the Confederate strength had been put on the battlefield, which was where Stevenson was. The Federal forces opposed to Stevenson were the divisions of Hovey, Logan and Crocker, and their strength, according to Grant, was 15,000 men. Stevenson confronted them until 2 o'clock, with no serious discomfiture, with 6,500, One of his brigades was guarding the train, and Bowen and Loring were not sent up till afternoon, Bowen alone arriving at 2:30, when it was evidently too late, and Featherston and Buford not until 4 p. m. The men in these commands