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[508] General Cooper informs me that no other reinforcements have been ordered to this department. Major-General Gardner is invested in Port Hudson.

J. E. Johnston, General.

Canton, June 5, 1863.
Hon. J. A. Seddon. Dear Sir:
I thank you cordially for your kind letter of May 25th, but almost regret that you feel such confidence in me as is expressed in it. From the present condition of affairs, I fear that confidence dooms you to disappointment. Every day gives some new intelligence of the enemy's strength, and of reenforcements on the way to him. My first intention on learning that Lieutenant-General Pemberton was in Vicksburg was to form an army to succor him. I suppose from my telegraphic correspondence with the Government that all the troops to be hoped for have arrived. Our resources seem so small, and those of the enemy so great, that the relief of Vicksburg is beginning to appear impossible to me. Pemberton will undoubtedly make a gallant and obstinate defense, and hold out as long as he can make resistance. But unless we assemble a force strong enough to break Grant's line of investment, the surrender of the place will be a mere question of time. General Grant is receiving reinforcements almost daily. His force, according to the best information to be had, is more than treble that which I command. Our scouts say, too, that he has constructed lines of circumvallation, and has blocked up all roads leading to his position.

The enterprise of forcing the enemy's lines would be a difficult one to a force double that at my disposal. If you are unable to increase that force decidedly, I must try to accomplish something in aid of the besieged garrison; and yet, when considering it, it seems to me desperate.

Your suggestion to General Kirby Smith was promptly dispatched to him. I have no doubt that the time is favorable for attacking Helena.

In replying by telegraph to your letters and telegrams, I


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