Thursday, November 29, 2012

November 30, 1862 (Sunday): Pemberton Caged

General Theoplis Hunter Holmes

ABBEVILLE, MISS., November 30, 1862.
Tullahoma, Tenn.:
    I am compelled to fall back for the defense of Vicksburg. The effective force there does not exceed 4,000. General Holmes is doing nothing to assisted me. The enemy is moving form 10,000 to 15,000 from Delta by mouth of Coldwater toward Grenada. Sherman with 20,000 is at Lumpkin's Mill, 12 miles in my front. Grant is moving also with the whole or part of his army, from 35,000 to 40,000, and will doubtless cross a large force at New Albany. Columbus, Miss., is not fortified. Within a few days a large expedition by the Mississippi River will move direct for Vicksburg for a combined land and water attack. You see my situation; it is for you to decide how far you can help me. I am now moving my baggage to Yalabusha.

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.
My effective force for battle will not exceed 20,000 at this or any other point south.

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

Grant was beginning his campaign to take Vicksburg.  Pemberton was trying to hold Grant north of Vicksburg.  His 20,000 men were 52 miles away from Greneda, 12 miles away from Lumpkin's Mills, and 25 miles from Grant at New Albany at Abbeville (10 miles South of Oxford).  Hemmed in, he decided to retreat South to Yalabusha (near Coffeeville, Mississippi).  Theopolis Holmes had just been promoted to head the Trans-Mississippi Department, sent West after a lackluster Seven Days Campaign performance.  He was charged with defending the Mississippi River, yet would consistently refuse to send reinforcements to Pemberton. 

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