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“ [560] will be ready to move promptly. To cross the Mississippi, both gunboats and transports must pass the batteries at Grand Gulf. An army large enough to defend itself on this side would consume much time in crossing. As it is not known what force has been withdrawn from the front, it is not improbable that the force opposite to Grand Gulf is there to lay waste the country on that side, and a feint to withdraw troops from a main attack here. I venture to express the hope that the troops will not be removed far, until further developments from below render it certain that they will cross in force.”

On the 30th of April, I received, by telegraph from General Bowen, the first information of the landing of the enemy at Bruinsburg, and on the following day (May 1st) the battle of Port Gibson was lost by us. In corroboration of the statement made with regard to the threatening aspect of affairs toward Vicksburg and its flank defenses, I beg leave to draw attention to the following dispatches from General Stevenson:

Vicksburg, May 29, 1863.
... Eight boats loaded with troops from our front are now moving up Yazoo. The display made in moving them showed a desire to attract our attention.

Vicksburg, May 30, 1863.
The enemy have been shelling Snyder's at long range most of the day. Forney thinks that five regiments have landed at Blake's lower quarters.

The only instructions or suggestions received from General Johnston, in reference to the movements at Grand Gulf, are contained in the following dispatches, which were dated and received after the battle of Port Gibson, and when our army, in retreat from that position, was recrossing the Big Black:

Tullahoma, May 1, 1863.
If Grant's army lands on this side of the river, the safety of Mississippi depends on beating it. For that object you should unite your whole force.

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