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On the 7th May, and previous to my movement across the Big Black, the President of the Confederate States telegraphed me as follows:

I am anxiously expecting intelligence of your further active operations. Want of transportation of supplies must compel the enemy to seek a junction with their fleet, after a few days' absence from it. To hold both Vicksburg and Port Hudson is necessary to a connection with trans-Mississippi. You may expect whatever it is in my power to do.

I have now shown how important I considered it not to advance beyond my direct communication with Vicksburg, and close proximity to the Big Black. Nor would I have done so, and I believe that every general officer of my command, who attended the council held at Edwards's Depot, will sustain me in the assertion (so far as his opinion may go), but for the orders received from General Johnston on the morning of the 14th May. They know, one and all, the loud-voiced public sentiment which urged a forward movement. They also know (there may be an individual exception or two) how eager they themselves were though they differed as to the preferable movement) to leave the position in which they had been in line of battle from the 13th to the morning of the 15th, and to advance upon the enemy; and they know, further, the feeling of their respective commands on the same subject. I have stated in my official report, and I reiterate here, that “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, I believe, the universal sentiment of the army — I know of my general officers-in its favor” (I now add there may have been an exception or two) “and yielded only to the orders of my superiors.”

I do not say, nor have I ever said, that General Johnston ordered me to make the movement I did make. He did, however, order a forward movement, the consequence of which would, in my judgment, have been utterly

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