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[515]

Camp on Caney Creek, July 5, 1863.
To his Excellency the President:
Your dispatch of June 30th received. I considered my assignment to the immediate command in Mississippi as giving me a new position, and limiting my authority to this department. The orders of the War Department transferring three separate bodies of troops from General Bragg's army to this, two of them without my knowledge, and all of them without consulting me, would have convinced me, had I doubted. These orders of the War Department expressed its judgment of the number of troops to be transferred from Tennessee. I could no more control this judgment by increasing the number, than by forbidding the transfers. I regret very much that an impression which seemed to me to be natural, should be regarded by you as a “strange error.”

J. E. Johnston.

Your dispatch of the 5th instant received. The mistakes it contains will be noticed by letter. Your dispatch of the 7th instant to the Secretary of War, announcing the disastrous termination of the siege of Vicksburg, received the same day.

Painfully anxious as to the result, I have remained without information from you as to any plans proposed or attempted to raise the siege. Equally uninformed as to your plans in relation to Port Hudson. I have to request such information in relation thereto as the Government has a right to expect from one of its commanding generals in the field.

Jefferson Davis.

Jackson, July 9, 1863.
To his Excellency the President:
Your dispatch of to-day received. I have never meant to fail in the duty of reporting to the Executive whatever


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