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[551] “delay,” in the usual acceptation of the meaning of that term.

General Johnston not having consulted with me, or in any way asked for my plan or opinion, I had perhaps no right to suppose that he was “imperfectly acquainted with my position and resources, as well as with the movements and forces of the enemy;” but on the contrary, when he ordered my advance, I would have been justified in supposing that he must have been better informed as to the disposition of the forces of the enemy than myself; but, notwithstanding this, had I been upheld by the opinions of my general officers, I would not have advanced beyond Edwards's Depot, as I deemed it very hazardous to make any forward movement, but would there have awaited, on chosen ground, the attack of the enemy.

The interval which elapsed between my communications (informing General Johnston, in the first, that I would obey his instructions at once, though against my own judgment; and, in the second, that I would move in a direction to cut off the supplies of the enemy) was not long enough to change or interfere with any movement of his.

By no possibility could General Johnston have effectually cooperated with me in the movement toward Clinton. He, at that time, having retired before the greatly superior force of the enemy, in the direction of Canton, was some twenty miles distant from Clinton; and, moreover, the enemy would certainly have forced battle from me before I should have reached the latter place. “The consequence which, in my judgment, would have resulted from pursuing the instructions literally,” would have been the certain fall of Vicksburg, almost without a blow being struck in its defense, so overwhelming a force could the enemy then have thrown, without opposition, on its small garrison. For further elucidation on this point, I beg leave to refer you to an examination of the positions on the map accompanying my report.

In consequence of my great deficiency in cavalry-the force of that arm in my command being scarcely adequate


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