Monday, May 13, 2013

May 12, 1863

May 12, 1863

Battle of Raymond, Mississippi: As part of Grant’s campaign in Mississippi, Gen. James McPherson pushes his troops as they appear before the town or Raymond before the Confederates expect them. Gen. John Gregg of the Confederate army is there to greet the Federal advance with a division of Rebel infantry, almost 5,000 men, with artillery. McPherson sends Gen. John "Black Jack" Logan forward with his division, and Logan deploys, at first, a single brigade to probe the Rebel line. Gregg assumes that a brigade is all he has to deal with, and orders his line forward. But he finds that Logan has deployed his entire division, with a lot of artillery. The Federals overlap the Confederate line, and Gregg’s line is smashed. The Rebels retreat, leaving the road to Jackson open, and tempting the Yankees with the capture of the two nearby railroads, that meet at Jackson. Grant decides to turn the bulk of his force toward Jackson.

Losses:     Killed        Wounded        Captured/Missing           Total

U.S.             68                   341                            37                                446

C.S.           100                   305                         415                                820
Private William R. Clack, 43rd Tennessee Infantry Reg.

—Union Artilleryman Jenkin Lloyd Jones, of the Wisconsin Artillery, notes in his journal his own impressions of the Battle of Raymond, Mississippi:
Raymond, Tuesday, May 12. Awoke at the usual hour, hitched up at daylight and took up the line of march. Travelled slowly, stopping frequently until about 12 M. When we neared the firing, the report of which we could hear all day, we were ordered forward at double quick for two miles, and formed in line of battle immediately under the brow of the hill. But the work was done by Logan’s Division. The firing gradually ceased and at 4 P. M. all was calm and still after the leaden storm, and the heroes were allowed to recite the startling events of the morning. They commenced driving the enemy at sunrise and about 10 A. M. they met them in superior force. The 1st Brigade suffered the worst. The 20th Ill. and 31st Iowa losing more men than in the five previous engagements, Shiloh and Corinth included. Many were severely wounded. Took about 50 or sixty prisoners.

6 P. M. we limbered to the front and marched into Raymond at double quick. It was dark before we got in, and the dust was so thick that I could not see the lead-rider. The howitzers were posted on the entrance of the Jackson road in the public square, and stood picket. The horses which had been all day without water or feed, obliged to stand in the harness hitched up. Drivers lying by their teams.

The Richmond Daily Dispatch publishes an elegaic editorial on the death of Gen. Jackson:
Gen. Jackson.

Words have no power to express the emotion which the death of Jackson has aroused in the public mind. The heart of our whole people bleeds over the fallen hero, whom they loved so well because he so loved their cause, and vindicated it, not only with vast energy and courage, but with the most complete self-abnegation, simplicity, and single-mindedness. There was such an entire absence of pretension, vanity, ambition, and self in every shape about Gen. Jackson, that he had become a popular idol. The affections of every house-hold in the nation were twined about this great and unselfish warrior, who, two years ago, was an unknown man! He has fallen, and a nation weeps, but not as those without hope. No grave more glorious can a soldier ask than the lap of victory; no future brighter than that which awaits one who united with the soldier the saint!

Nor is the loss to his country, great as it is, irreparable. No doubt the puerile Yankee will be encouraged to believe that, now that Jackson is dead, the subjugation of the South is certain. Let them cross the Rappahannock again, and the delusion will be dispelled. The veterans of Jackson's corps, the men whom he led and loved, will show at the first opportunity whether or not they are capable of avenging his death. . . . At the head of our armies is still the great Commander-in-Chief, whose masterly combinations Jackson assisted to execute with unsurpassed vigor and success. Around him are clustered a group of such men as Longstreet, Stuart, Hill, and others, and, no doubt, not a few in the ranks, (for this war has been the best kind of military school,) who will yet achieve a renown fully equal to that of the departed hero. . . . Only let us cease to idolize man, and put our trust in that Providence which Jackson so constantly and reverently acknowledged as the hope and sheet anchor of our cause.

—Mrs. Judith White McGuire, of Richmond, writes in her journal of her feelings over Stonewall Jackson’s death:
The good, the great, the glorious Stonewall Jackson is numbered with the dead! Humanly speaking, we cannot do without him; but the same God who raised him up, took him from us, and He who has so miraculously prospered our cause, can lead us on without him. Perhaps we have trusted too much to an arm of flesh; for he was the nation’s idol. His soldiers almost worshipped him, and it may be that God has therefore removed him. We bow in meek submission to the great Ruler of events. May his blessed example be followed by officers and men, even to the gates of heaven!
We wonder—does she mean that all of the rest of the Confederate Army should likewise seek death in battle?

---George Templeton Strong, of New York City, writes in his journal of the war news, revealing how little the Northern populace knew, even yet, of the results of Chancellorsville:
Van Dorn’s death is established.  He was shot by some other gentleman for certain liberties with the other gentleman’s wife, a fit conclusion to a life of scoundrelism.  It is also established that Stonewall Jackson lost an arm at Chancellorsville.  Hooker’s advance and Lee’s retreat are not confirmed. 

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