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[496] task you have set me will be above my ability. But the hand of Almighty God has delivered us in times of great danger! Believing that He is with us, I will not lose hope.

J. E. Johnston, General.

Ascertain General Bragg's intentions, wants, and condition, compared with that of the enemy. Ask him for full information. The enemy did not follow. Can he not hold a part of the rich country northwest of the mountains and disturb the enemy's foraging with his cavalry? If he wants Roddy, he must take him.

J. E. Johnston, General.

Jackson, January 6, 1863.
To The President, Richmond:
Your dispatch of yesterday received. Enemy's troops and transports reported gone up the river from Milliken's Bend. We hear of no movement in this direction by General Holmes. Grant's forces are reported distributed at Memphis, Holly Springs, and Corinth. The country said to be impracticable. General Bragg reports he has been checked. I hear indirectly that he has withdrawn from Murfreesboro. Should he need help, and there appear no danger in Mississippi except by the river, could E. K. Smith's men return a The impossibility of my knowing the condition of things in Tennessee shows that I cannot direct both parts of my command at once. I am hoping to hear from General Bragg.

J. E. Johnston, General.

Jackson, January 7, 1863.
To The President, Richmond:
General Bragg telegraphs from Winchester that the enemy did not follow in force. I regret his falling back so


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