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[511]

Jackson, June 15, 1863.
Hon.
Hon. J. A. Seddon, Secretary of War:
Your repeated dispatch of the 8th is deciphered. I cannot advise in regard to the points from which troops can best be taken, having no means of knowing. Nor is it for me to judge which it is best to yield, Mississippi or Tennessee. That is for the Government to determine. Without some great blunder by the enemy, we cannot hold both. The odds against me are much greater than those you express. I consider saving Vicksburg hopeless.

(Signed) J. E. Johnston.

Your dispatch of the 12th instant, to the Secretary of War, noted. The order to go to Mississippi did not diminish your authority in Tennessee, both being in the country placed under your command in original assignment. To what do you refer as information from me restricting your authority to transfer troops because no more could be spared? Officers ordered to you for duty generally are, of course, subject to assignment by you.

Jefferson Davis.

Jackson, June 16, 1863.
To his Excellency the President:
Your dispatch of 15th received. I meant to tell the Secretary of War that I considered the order directing me to command here as limiting my authority to this department, especially as that order was accompanied by War Department orders transferring troops from Tennessee to Mississippi. And, whether commanding there or not, that your reply to my application for more troops, that none could be spared, would have made it improper for me to order more troops from Tennessee. Permit me to repeat that an officer having a task like mine, far above his ability,


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