photograph courtesy of
The Battle of Raymond by Parker Hills
Hills, USA (Ret), is the founder of Battle Focus, specializing in
battlefield tours, and is a regular speaker at Civil War Roundtables,
battlefield preservation groups, civic clubs and seminars.
General Hills is a
recognized expert on the Vicksburg Campaign and other civil war
Script from the 2001 Video Production of the Battle
of Raymond by Rebecca B. Drake
professional musician, has been a volunteer writer for the Hinds
County Gazette since 1984. All of her articles pertaining to the Civil
War have been printed in the Gazette under the heading Kaleidoscope of
History. She has also written three books pertaining to the Battle of
Raymond. These books are donated to Friends of Raymond to help with
the preservation of the Raymond Battlefield.
The Battle of Raymond by Francis Vinton Greene
From Campaigns of the Civil War: The Mississippi, Scribner
& Sons, 1882.
Greene was born at Providence, Rhode Island June 27, 1850. He was the
son of the "grandfatherly" Major General George Sears
Greene, popularly known as the defender of Culp's Hill during the
Battle of Gettysburg. Francis V. Greene graduated from the United
States Military Academy in 1870. During his career he served in a
variety of posts: assistant astronomer and surveyor on the
International Commission for survey of the northern boundary of the
United States, 1872-76; military attaché to U.S. Legation in St.
Petersburg, 1877-79; in the field with the Russian Army in Turkey,
1877-78; assistant engineer in charge of public works in Washington,
D. C., 1879-85; and professor of practical military engineer, United
States Military Academy, 1885-86. In 1886 he resigned his commission
and returned to private life.
In 1898 he was
appointed colonel of the 7th New York Infantry regiment to fight in
the Spanish-American War. In August of the same year, he was rapidly
promoted to brigadier general and major general, U. S. Volunteers,
where he commanded 2nd Division, 7th Army Corps. He resigned his
commission in February of 1899. He later served as: Chairman of the
Commission on Canals, New York, 1899; Delegate to the Republican
National Convention, Philadelphia, 1900; President of the Republican
Committee, NY, 1900; New York City Police Commissioner, 1903-04; and
President, Niagara-Lockport and Ontario Power Company.
Greene is the author of
numerous books of historical value: The Russian Army and its Campaigns
in Turkey (2 volumes), 1879; Army Life in Russia, 1881; Campaigns of
the Civil War : The Mississippi, 1881; The Life of Nathaniel Greene,
Major General in the Army of the Revolution, 1893; The Revolutionary
War and the Military Policy of the U.S., 1911, The Present Military
Situation in the U. S., 1915; and Our First Year in the Great War,
Greene and his wife,
Belle Eugenie Chevaelie Greene made their home in New York City where
he died on May 13, 1921. Francis Vinton and Belle Eugenie are buried
in Arlington National Cemetery.
A brief history from "A
Guide to the Campaign & Siege of Vicksburg"
Following the Union victory at
Grand Gulf and Port Gibson, Grant moved his army in a northeasterly
direction toward Raymond, using the Big Black River to protect Major
General John A. McClernand's corps on the Union left. Major General
William T. Sherman was in the center and Major General James B. McPherson
on the right. Grant planned to strike the Southern Railroad of Mississippi
between Vicksburg and Jackson and isolate Vicksburg by cutting Lieutenant
General John C. Pemberton's supply and communications line.
General McPherson's XVII Corps
was marching along the Utica Road southeast of Raymond in the valley of
Fourteen-mile Creek when about 10:00 a.m. its skirmish line was suddenly
hit by the deadly fire of Brigadier General John Gregg's battle-hardened
Confederate brigade. The three guns of Captain Hiram Bledsoe's Missouri
battery, positioned to cover the bridge across the creek, also opened fire
on the Federals at a range of 1,000 yards.
Gregg had thought his 4,000
men could turn the Federal right flank. Faulty intelligence informed him
he was facing a small force. When the 50th Tennessee Infantry crossed
Fourteen-mile Creek, they realized instead that McPherson had 12,000 men
before them. While thick clouds of smoke and dust obscured the field,
Gregg met initial success as his regiments attacked across the creek en
echelon to the left. The Federals checked the attack by early afternoon
Union brigades continued to
arrive on the field and deployed on both sides of the Utica Road, massing
22 pieces of artillery along the ridge to support the infantry. They
pushed forward at 1:30 p.m. and drove the Confederates back across
Fourteen-mile Creek. The fighting was confused because neither commander
knew the location of his units. Union strength finally broke the
Confederate right flank along the Utica Road and the battle ended with
Gregg's retreat through Raymond and out the Jackson Road, where they
bivouacked for the night near Snake Creek. McPherson's troops remained at
the tiny village of Raymond. Major General Grant made his headquarters at
Waverly, the home of Major John Peyton. Federal combat strength: 12,000.
Casualties: 442 Confederate combat strength: 4,000. Casualties: 514
Reference used with
permission, "A Guide to the Campaign & Siege of Vicksburg",
State of Mississippi, Department of Archives and History, 1994.