On April 30, 1863, Brig. Gen. Martin E. Green deployed his brigade along the Rodney Road just east of Magnolia Church. His thin line of four small regiments was strengthened by four guns of the Pettus Flying Artillery. At 5:30 a.m., May 1, the Federals advanced in overwhelming numbers along the Rodney Road toward Green's position.
It was not long before his line was hard pressed and the artillery unit supporting him out of ammunition. Green was reinforced shortly after 8 o'clock by two guns of the Botetourt (Virginia) Artillery and the 23d Alabama Infantry. Even so, he could not stem the Federal advance. At 10:00 a.m. the blue line surged forward, captured the guns of the Virginia battery, and drove the Confederates from their position.
As Green's men scrambled to the rear, the brigades of Brig. Gen. William E. Baldwin and Col. Francis M. Cockrell arrived and established a new line between White and Irwin branches of Willow Creek. Here the battle was renewed at mid-afternoon. The Confederates fought tenaciously but were no match for the powerful Union battle lines which came on relentlessly. At 5:30 p.m. Bowen telegraphed his superiors in Jackson, "I am falling back across Bayou Pierre. The men did nobly, holding out the whole day against overwhelming odds."
Last updated: February 23, 2018