Report of Col. A. W. Reynolds, C. S. Army, commanding Fourth Brigade.
Demopolis Ala.
July 27, 1863.


MAJOR: In compliance with instructions from the headquarters of Major-General Stevenson, commanding division, to report the part taken by my brigade in the action at Baker's Creek and siege of Vicksburg, I have the honor respectfully to report as follows:

My brigade--consisting of the Forty-third Tennessee Regiment, Colonel [J. W.] Gillespie; Thirty-first Tennessee Regiment, Colonel [W. M.] Braford Third Tennessee Regiment [P. A.], Colonel [N. J.] Lillard; Fifty-ninth Tennessee Regiment, Colonel [W. L.] Eakin, and the Third Maryland Battery, Capt. F. O. Claiborne--left Edwards Depot, on the Southern or Jackson Railroad, at 12 o'clock on the night of May 15, as the rear guard of the army commanded by Lieut. Gen. J. C. Pemberton, then marching in the direction of Raymond.

The rear of the train and my command reached the junction of the Clinton and Raymond roads about daylight on the morning of the 16th, at which point the trains and brigade were halted for further orders. At 6 a.m. the train was ordered to move to the rear as rapidly as possible. At 6.30 a.m. I was directed to form my brigade in line of battle on the Clinton road, fronting the road leading in direction of Raymond, which order was promptly obeyed, throwing out a line of skirmishers in my front some 500 or 600 yards. My skirmishers had been posted but a short time when they engaged the skirmishers of the enemy on the Raymond road.

Such was the condition of affairs when I was relieved by Brigadier-General [S D.] Lee's brigade about 8 a.m., orders having been sent to me to take charge of and guard the trains to a point on the Brownsville road, 2 miles from the junction of that road and the road leading to Edwards Depot. I received further directions to so arrange my command as to give the train proper protection, as I would alone be held responsible for its safety. I immediately moved rapidly to the rear, overtook the train, and disposed of my troops as follows: A detachment in front, one regiment on the right flank, and the remainder of the infantry and the battery in rear.

In this order I reached the point designated at 11 a.m., when I parked the train and formed my line of battle, facing toward the enemy and in front of the train. My battery was placed in position to protect my front and flanks.
The position taken by me was held until about 3 o'clock, when a message was received by courier from Brigadier-General Barton, informing me that his line had been broken, and directing me to dispatch the train to the rear across the Big Black, and re-enforce him with all my available force as early as practicable. I immediately put the train in motion, leaving two regiments and a section of artillery to protect it, and moved rapidly with the remainder of my force to the support of General Barton. On arriving at a point near the Baker's Creek Bridge, I observed the troops of General Barton's command had fallen back toward Edwards Depot. I at once sent a courier to General Barton, asking further instructions, who returned with orders to fall back with my command to Edwards Depot. It was now after 4 p.m. By this time the enemy had discovered and opened upon me a fire of artillery, and were moving with a heavy force to cut me off from the depot. I directed my artillery to rejoin the section left on the Brownsville road as quickly as possible, and I moved with the infantry toward the junction of the roads. The enemy (about one division) had already crossed the bridge and had gained a point nearer the depot than my troops had succeeded in reaching. My safety now depended in out-maneuvering him. I marched in parallel lines with him for at least the half of a mile. Taking advantage of a dense wood, I changed my direction to the right, and by a rapid movement joined the other troops of my command, and made for Bridge-port--a point on the Big Black 1 miles above the bridge--where our main army had crossed. At Bridgeport I found a light pontoon bridge, over which I passed two regiments and one piece of artillery. In attempting to throw over a caisson, the bridge gave way, carrying down the caisson. I extricated myself from this dilemma by cutting out one of the boats forming the bridge, and by it I crossed my entire command by 3 o'clock on the morning of the 17th.

I remained at Bridgeport until near daylight, when I destroyed the boats there and at a point 1 mile above, and moved toward Bovina, sending an officer forward to inform the lieutenant-general of my whereabouts. I received instructions from the lieutenant-general to proceed to Vicksburg by the nearest route and there await orders.

I reached Vicksburg at 5 p.m. on the 17th, and encamped in rear of the intrenchments near the Jackson road. The trains which were placed under my charge arrived in safety, with the exception of one ordnance wagon, which broke down crossing the Big Black Swamp.

In conclusion, I beg leave to say that in the arduous marches and perilous positions in which my troops have been placed they performed all their duties with cheerfulness and courage.

All the officers and men behaved well. I would particularly call the attention of the major-general to the universal good conduct and promptness of Colonel Gillespie, of the Forty-third Regiment; Colonel Lillard, of the Third Regiment, and Colonel Bradford, of the Thirty-first Regiment; also to Major [J. C.] Boyd, of the Third Regiment, always active and prompt in the discharge of his duties.

To Lieut. William A.M. Patton, my aide and acting [assistant] adjutant-general, I am under many obligations for meritorious services rendered. Captain Claiborne of the Third Maryland Battery, and his first lieutenant (Lieutenant [J. B.] Rowan), performed their duties admirably and gallantly.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

Colonel, Commanding Fourth Brigade.

Maj. J. J. REEVE,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Stevenson's Division, Demopolis, Ala.

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