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“ [554] General Loring to comply with my reiterated orders to attack,” and I do feel “assured that my orders were received by him.”

Hoping, sir, that these explanations may be satisfactory, I am, with respect, your obedient servant, J. C. Pemberton, Lieutenant-General commanding.

Richmond, December 14, 1863.
Hon. James A. Seddon, Secretary of War. Sir:
Having been allowed the opportunity of reading General J. E. Johnston's report of the military operations in the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana during the months of May, June, and July last, in justice to myself I request to be permitted to make the following additional report: The first order from General Johnston, dated at Jackson, the 13th of May, was received by me near Bovina, on the morning of the 14th, I think, between nine and ten o'clock. It was in these terms:
I have lately arrived, and learn that Major-General Sherman is between us, with four divisions, at Clinton. It is important to reestablish communication that you may be reinforced. If practicable, come up in his rear at once; to beat such a detachment would be of immense value; the troops here could cooperate. All the strength you can quickly assemble should be brought; time is all-important.

In this note General Johnston does not intimate a probable movement of the corps under General Sherman from Clinton upon Jackson, nor does he say how “the troops here” (at Jackson) “could cooperate.” He only directs me, for purposes named, “if practicable, to come up in his” (enemy's) “rear at once.” General Sherman, with his corps of four divisions, was represented by General Johnston to be between him and myself at Clinton. It was not clear to

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