Report of Col. A. W.
Reynolds, C. S. Army, commanding Fourth Brigade.
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 ½ 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.
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,
A. W. REYNOLDS,
Maj. J. J. REEVE,
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