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β€œ [474] may attempt to relieve you. Hold out.” The same day I sent orders to Major-General Gardner to evacuate Port Hudson.

I then determined, by easy marches, to reestablish my line between Jackson and Canton, as the junction of the two commands had become impossible.

On the twentieth and twenty-first of May I was joined by the brigades of Generals Gist, Ector, and McNair. The division of General Loring, cut off from General Pemberton in the battle of Baker's Creek, reached Jackson on the twentieth, and General Maxey, with his brigade, on the twenty-third. By the fourth of June the army had, in addition to these, been reenforced by the brigade of General Evans, the division of General Breckinridge, and the division of cavalry, numbering two thousand eight hundred, commanded by Brigadier-General W. H. Jackson. Small as was this force, about twenty-four thousand, infantry and artillery, not one third of that of the enemy, it was deficient in artillery, in ammunition for all arms and field transportation, and could not be moved upon that enemy, already intrenching his large force, with any hope of success.

The draft upon the country had so far reduced the number of horses and mules that it was not until late in June that draught animals could be procured, from distant points, for the artillery and trains.

There was no want of commissary supplies in the department; but the limited transportation caused a deficiency for a moving army.

On the twenty-third of May I received a despatch from Major-General Gardner, dated Port Hudson, May twenty-first, informing me that the enemy was about to cross at Bayou Sara; that the whole force from Baton Rouge was in his front, and asking to be reenforced. On this, my orders for the evacuation of Port Hudson were repeated, and he was informed:

You cannot be reenforced. Do not allow yourself to be invested. At every risk save the troops, and if practicable move in this direction.

This despatch did not reach General Gardner, Port Hudson being then invested.

About the twenty-fourth of May the enemy made such demonstrations above the Big Black and toward Yazoo City, that I sent Walker's division to Yazoo City, with orders to fortify it; and the demonstrations being renewed, placed Loring's division within supporting distance of Walker's, and in person took post at Canton.

Despatches arrived from General Pemberton, dated Vicksburgh, May twentieth and twenty-first. In that of the twentieth he stated that the enemy had assaulted his intrenched lines the day before, and were repulsed with heavy loss. He estimated their force at not less than sixty thousand, and asked that musket-caps be sent, they being his main necessity. He concluded:

An army will be necessary to save Vicksburgh, and that quickly. Will it be sent?

On the twenty-first he wrote:

The men credit, and are encouraged by a report, that you are near with a large force. They are fighting in good spirits, and their organization is complete.

Caps were sent as fast as they arrived. On May twenty-ninth I sent a despatch to General Pemberton, to the following effect:

I am too weak to save Vicksburgh. Can do no more than attempt to save you and your garrison. It will be impossible to extricate you, unless you cooperate, and we make mutually supporting movements. Communicate your plans and suggestions, if possible.

The receipt of this was acknowledged in a communication, dated Vicksburgh, June third, in which General Pemberton says:

We can get no information from outside as to your position or strength, and very little in regard to the enemy.

In a despatch, dated June tenth, from General Gardner, the first received since his investment, he reported having repulsed the enemy in several severe attacks, but that he was getting short of provisions and ammunition. To which I replied, June fifteenth, informing him that I had no means of relieving him, adding:

General Taylor will do what he can on the opposite side of the river. Hold the place as long as you can, and, if possible, withdraw in any direction, or cut your way out. It is very important to keep Banks and his forces occupied.

In a despatch, dated June twentieth, I sent him word that General Taylor had intended to attack the enemy opposite Port Hudson on the night of the fifteenth, and attempt to send cattle across the river.

The want of field transportation rendered any movement for the relief of Port Hudson impossible had a march in that direction been advisable, but such a march would have enabled Grant (who had now completed his strong lines around Vicksburgh) to have cut my line of communication, and destroyed my army; and from the moment that I put my troops in march in that direction the whole of Middle and North Mississippi would have been open to the enemy.

On June seventh I repeated the substance of my despatch of May twenty-ninth to General Pemberton.

On the fourth of June I told the Secretary of War, in answer to his call for my plans, that my only plan was to relieve Vicksburgh, and my force was far too small for the purpose.

On June tenth I told him I had not at my disposal half the troops necessary.

On the twelfth I said to him: β€œTo take from Bragg a force which would make this army fit to oppose Grant, would involve yielding Tennessee. It is for the government to decide between this State and Tennessee.”

On the fourteenth I sent General Pemberton the following:

All that we can attempt to do is to save you and your garrison. To do this exact cooperation is indispensable; by fighting the enemy simultaneously at the same points of his line you may be extricated. Our joint forces cannot raise the

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