Battle of Raymond

The Battle of Raymond was fought on May 12, 1863, near Raymond, Mississippi, during the Vicksburg Campaign of the American Civil War.

The bitter fight pitted elements of Union Army Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Army of the Tennessee against Confederate forces of Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton's Department of the Mississippi and East Louisiana. The Confederates failed to prevent the Federal troops from reaching the Southern Railroad and isolating Vicksburg, Mississippi, from reinforcement and resupply. The ranking Confederate officer, Brig. Gen. John Gregg, attempted to achieve tactical surprise and rout the Federal force, but he was in turn tactically surprised and routed from the field by the Union XVII Corps under the command of Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson. The Union forces outnumbered the Confederates three to one and in artillery seven to one.[2] The Union casualties at Raymond were 68 killed, 341 wounded, and 37 missing. The Confederate casualties were nearly double: 100 killed, 305 wounded, and 415 captured.

The small battle had an inordinately large impact on the Vicksburg Campaign. Union interdiction of the railroad interrupted Pemberton's attempt to further consolidate his forces and prevented him from linking up with his commanding officer, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. As a result, Pemberton was limited to three options: abandon Vicksburg, withdraw into the city and accept a siege, or fight a meeting engagement against a superior force. Facing conflicting orders from his superiors and open insurrection from his subordinates, Pemberton would be forced into the latter choice on May 16, 1863, at the Battle of Champion Hill.

Description: Ordered by Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton, Confederate commander at Vicksburg, Brig. Gen. John Gregg led his force from Port Hudson, Louisiana, to Jackson, Mississippi, and out to Raymond to intercept approaching Union troops. Before dawn on May 12, Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson had his XVII Army Corps on the march, and by 10:00 am they were about three miles from Raymond. Gregg decided to dispute the crossing of Fourteen Mile Creek and arrayed his men and artillery accordingly. As the Yankees approached, the Rebels opened fire, initially causing heavy casualties. Some Union troops broke, but Maj. Gen. John A. Logan rallied a force to hold the line. Confederate troops attacked the line but had to retire. More Yankees arrived and the Union force counterattacked. Heavy fighting ensued that continued for six hours, but the overwhelming Union force prevailed. Gregg’s men left the field. Although Gregg’s men lost the battle, they had held up a much superior Union force for a day.