Gen. Lee had ordered formation of a Pioneer Corps, armed with axes, shovels, spades and picks, and composed of men detailed from each company. As enemy shells continued to fall, establishment of defensive works began all along the Confederate lines.
June 9, 1862, Quartermaster clerk William H. Hill wrote in his diary:
“Monday. Clear and warm. Everything quiet today. The men are throwing up breastwork in front of our camp. The enemy shelled us again but did no damage.”
Soon they were fighting back. Attala Minutemen Private Mike Hubbert wrote on Thursday: “Our batteries shelled the enemy’s camp this morning. It made them move their tents and realign some of their guns.”
It was June 12, the day that Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and 1,200 cavalry began their famous four-day, hundred mile ride around the Union army to determine its size and disposition.
Among the opposing cavalry commanders was Stuart’s father-in-law, Phillip St. George Cooke, a Virginian who had remained loyal to the Union.
On Saturday, June 14, Hubbert added: “We are fortifying rapidly along our lines.”