The Battle of Raymond
May 12, 1863

by
Francis Vinton Greene

From CAMPAIGNS OF THE CIVIL WAR: THE MISSISSIPPI, published by Scribner & Sons, 1882


On the night of May 11th Grant had his army well in hand, and the orders for the next day were to move forward into position on Fourteen Mile Creek, about seven miles south of the railroad, McClernand on the Telegraph road from Auburn to Edwards' Station, with one division thrown out to the big Black at Baldwin's Ferry, and Sherman on the road from Auburn to Raymond. McPherson was to push forward rapidly into Raymond, in the hopes of capturing some commissary stores there, the army being in need of rations.

McPherson moved out accordingly before 4:00 A. M. on the 12th, Logan's division in the lead, followed closely by Crocker's. The enemy's videttes were soon see falling back before them, and about 9:00 a. M. stronger bodies of the enemy were encountered. Logan thereupon formed one of his brigades (Dennis') in line of battle across the road, the other two brigades marching by the flank in rear of it. The only cavalry regiment present with the army accompanied McPherson's command, and it was now thrown out on the flanks, with orders to explore every lateral road on which the enemy might be posted.

In this formation Logan continued his advance for about two hours. About 11:00 A. M., he came to a small stream crossing the road, about two miles from Raymond, and on the hills beyond it the enemy was discovered in force, the infantry drawn up in support of two batteries, which were posted in a position to enfilade the road and the bridge over the stream. A halt was made, and the ground was reconnoitered. It was evident that the enemy intended to dispute the passage. Logan was at once ordered to attack him, and orders were sent back for Crocker to hasten his march and come up as a reserve. The enemy's force consisted of Gregg's brigade, which had come from Port Hudson to Jackson in pursuance of Pemberton's orders of April 28th and had moved out to Raymond to cover Jackson, and to fall upon Grant's flank should he attack Edwards' Station. The brigade numbered, including some State troops picked up at Jackson, something over 3,000 men.

Logan's division was at once formed by deploying J. E. Smith's brigade on the right of Dennis', and placing DeGolyer's (8th Michigan) battery on the road in the center. The infantry advanced, proceeding by skirmishers, and a severe engagement was soon in progress. Stevenson's brigade was then deployed on the right of Smith's and the line continued to advance, passing over some open ground, ad gaining possession of a piece of woods across the creek, in close proximity to the enemy's position on the hills. The fight continued for two or three hours, the line gradually advancing until, during the afternoon, the leading brigade of Crocker's division came up and deployed in support of Dennis' brigade. The enemy then abandoned the field and retreated rapidly toward Jackson. Logan's division followed in pursuit, passing through Raymond at 5:00 P.M., and pursuing the enemy for some distance beyond the town, but being unable to overtake them the men were halted, and went into camp for the night. Crocker's division was but slightly engaged in this affair, losing but two men. Logan lost 65 killed, 445 wounded, and 32 missing; total 432. Gregg's loss, according to his own report, was 73 killed, 229 wounded, and 204 missing - total 505. Two disabled guns were captured.

The defense made by the enemy at Raymond induced Grant to believe that their force in the vicinity of Jackson might be stronger than he had supposed; reports reached him moreover that reinforcements were arriving at Jackson, and that Johnston was daily expected at that point to take command in person. He therefore decided, before moving up against Edwards' station, to make sure of Jackson, which would be a dangerous point on his flank or near if it remained in the enemy's possession; and as McPherson's corps might not be strong enough to get possession of it at one, single-handed - its fortifications being reported strong - he determined to move his whole force in that direction. On the evening of the 12th, therefore, orders were given (countermanding previous orders of the same date, to move up to the railroad) for McPherson to push forward at day-break toward Clinton and thence to Jackson; Sherman to move to Raymond and thence by Mississippi Springs toward Jackson; and McClernand, with three divisions, to follow Sherman by the road on the north side of Fourteen Mile Creek, sending his other division back to Auburn to meet and escort the trains which were coming up from the river at Grand Gulf. The sharp skirmishing which both McClernand and Sherman had had during the day in getting possession of the crossings of Fourteen Mile Creek on their respective roads was a strong confirmation of the numerous reports that Pemberton was concentrating his Vicksburg troops at Edwards' Station but before attacking them Grant desired to first dispose of the troops at Jackson and destroy the railroad at that point.


Francis Vinton Greene
1850 - 1921

Francis Vinton Greene was born at Providence, Rhode Island, June 27, 1850, son of the "grandfatherly" Major General George Sears Greene, the defender of Culp's Hill at Gettysburg. Francis V. Greene graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1870, as 2nd Lieutenant, 4th United States Artillery. In 1872, transferred to the Corps of Engineers, where he served on the International Commission for survey of northern boundary of the United States as assistant astronomer and surveyor, 1872-76. He was later military attaché to U.S. Legation in St Petersburg, 1877-79 and in the field with the Russian Army in Turkey, 1877-78. During 1879-85, he was assistant engineer in charge of public works in Washington, D.C. and was Professor, practical military engineering, United States Military Academy, 1885-86, when he resigned his commission.

In 1898, he raised the 7th New York Infantry regiment in May 1898, for the Spanish-American War. He was rapidly promoted to Brigadier General and Major General, U.S. Volunteers, August 1898, where he commanded 2nd Division, 7th Army Corps, and resigned his commission in February 1899.

He later served as Chairman, Commission on Canals, New York, 1899; Delegate, Republican National Convention, Philadelphia, 1900; President, Republican Committee, NY, 1900; New York City Police Commissioner, 1903-04; and President, Niagara-Lockport and Ontario Power Company.

Publications:
Deflections of the Plumb-Line along the 49th Parallel, 1876
The Russian Army and its Campaigns In Turkey, 1879
Army Life in Russia, 1881
The Mississippi: Campaigns of the Civil War, 1881
Life of Nathaniel Greene, Major General in the Army of the Revolution, 1893
The Revolutionary War and the Military Policy of the US, 1911
The Present Military Situation in the US, 1915
Our First Year in the Great War, 1918.

 


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