Pvt. H. K. Nelson
Battle of Raymond
Gen. Gregg moved the brigade of about eighteen hundred men to the southwest of the town, and about 10:00 a.m. formed line of battle in a woodland, between two public roads in the shape of a V, which intersect near the town, with a graveyard between them. The Forty-First Regiment was halted at the graveyard, and ordered to stack knapsacks, and were held as a reserve. The Yankees formed in our front a double line of infantry; and posted their artillery - and it seemed that they had plenty of it - on the hills in our front, from which they began to shell our line. Gen. Gregg ordered us to advance, which was done in fine style. We attacked the Yankees, driving back the first line and engaging the second, when we found that we were truly "up against Grant's army." It had crossed the Mississippi River below Vicksburg at Grand Gulf and was marching on Jackson, so as to gain the rear of Vicksburg. Soon the Forty-First was double-quicked to the right of our line, but soon it was ordered to the left wing, and back to the graveyard in double-quick and out on the road to the left to take position.
We held our ground against great odds until near sundown, when the brigade was ordered to retire, which it did in good order, leaving its dead and many of its wounded on the field. Some of the wounded had been taken back to the town and had the best of treatment by the ladies there. Our loss was very heavy, and that of the enemy was worse. Col. McGavock, of the Tenth Tennessee, was killed while leading this gallant old regiment in the charge. Private Lee McClure of the Third, conspicuously brave, was killed. Capt. Ab Boon, of Company F, Forty-First, was killed. He advanced the skirmish line into a thicket, where he came upon a Yankee, who shot him. The Captain called to Henry C. Whitesides of his company who was near him and said: "Go tell Col. Tillman that the enemy is flanking him. They have killed me." And he sank down dead. When Whitesides had delivered the message and returned to where his captain lay, his sword and gold watch were gone, having been taken by the enemy. The Forty-First was formed to bring up the rear, in an open field under a heavy fire from the Federal artillery, and executed the move; "Change front, forward on first company," with as much composure as if they had been on a drill field, and the men were highly complimented by Gen. Gregg, who witnessed the move. The brigade passed through Raymond near dark, marching out on the Jackson road about three miles and camped. The next morning we marched for Jackson, and met Gen. W. H. T. Walker's Brigade of Georgia troops. They had left their knapsacks at Jackson and had come at a quick step to meet us.
[Article continues with the Battle of Jackson]
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