Pemberton made a splendid defence of Vicksburg, and might have been relieved if the officer commanding the army sent to relieve him (General Johnston) had not failed to obey the positive orders to attack General Grant, which Mr. Seddon, then Secretary of War, had sent.
If the same officer, who was upheld in command by the anti-administration party, had vigorously attacked Sherman at Atlanta when directed, the fortunes of war would have been changed, and Sherman hurled back to Nashville over a sterile and wasted country — his retreat little less disastrous than Napoleon's from Moscow.
He did not do so, and was relieved; General Hood, a true and spirited soldier, taking his place.
But the opportunity then was gone; and to this delay, more than to any other cause, the Southern people will attribute their overthrow whenever history comes to be truly written.
In the statement this extract contains, that General J. E. Johnston failed to obey positive orders or directions
aid I can. I have literally no cavalry from Grand Gulf to Yazoo City, while the enemy is threateninvement south of Hazle-hurst, and not towards Grand Gulf, or the Big Black Bridge. Colonel Adams was batteries established there, I directed that Grand Gulf should be occupied, and as many heavy guns proops from the west bank of the river, below Grand Gulf — there being a practicable route by which tajor Lockett, my Chief Engineer, was sent to Grand Gulf.
On the twenty-second I addressed a communihing Rock Springs, about eighteen miles from Grand Gulf, Major-General Loring, learning that Brigadiructions were, in case he had fallen back to Grand Gulf, which is a cul-de-sac, to destroy his heavyd transports, indicating a purpose to attack Grand Gulf with a view to Vicksburg.
He also reported heavy firing at Grand Gulf.
The enemy is shelling our batteries, both above and below.
On the fi; made good the landing of his army-occupied Grand Gulf, and was marching upon the Jackson and Vicks