the Eastern troops arrive. They are to be twelve or thirteen thousand.
Most respectfully, Your obedient servant, J. E. Johnston.
It will be observed that General Johnston's letter of the 15th, which caused me to reverse my column with the view of marching to Clinton, was received before the retreat commenced, and about eleven hours earlier than this one of the 14th just presented. I know nothing of the causes which produced this result, but I respectfully invite attention to the fact that, in this letter of the 14th, General Johnston suggests the very movement which I had made, and for the purpose I had indicated. After expressing the hope that certain dispositions made by himself might prevent the enemy from drawing provisions from the East or from the country toward Panola, he says : “Can he supply himself from the Mississippi a Can you not cut him off from it; and, above all, should he be compelled to fall back for want of supplies, beat him?” I have introduced General Johnston's letter entire, that the context, as well as that portion to which I have particularly called attention, may be considered. I had resisted the popular clamor for an advance, which began from the moment the enemy set his polluting foot upon the eastern bank of the Mississippi River. I had resisted the universal sentiment, I believe, of the army-I know of my general officers — in its favor, and yielded only to the orders of my superiors. I was not invited by General Johnston to submit my plans to him for his consideration; it is, therefore, unnecessary now to speak of them. One of the immediate results of the retreat from Big Black was the necessity of abandoning our defenses on the Yazoo at Snyder's Mills; that position, and the line of Chickasaw Bayou, were no longer tenable. All stores that could be transported were ordered to be sent into Vicksburg