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[562] that General Johnston supposed the enemy to be still at Jackson, when he wrote on the 15th; while in his note of the 14th (received subsequently), the enemy being then also at Jackson, he informed me that the force under General Gist, he “hopes, will be able to prevent the enemy in Jackson from drawing provisions from the East. This one (Gregg's, with which he was present in person) may be able to keep him from the country toward Panola. Can he supply himself from the Mississippi Can you not cut him off from it, and, above all, should he be compelled to fall back for want of supplies, beat him?” The remainder of this dispatch is also embodied in my report.

I here insert a dispatch from General Johnston, not given nor referred to in my report:

Calhoun Station, May 16, 1863.
I have just received a dispatch from Captain Yerger, informing me that a detachment of his squadron went into Jackson this morning, just as the enemy was leaving it. They (the Federals) took the Clinton road. It is matter of great anxiety to me to add this little force to your army, but the enemy being exactly between us, and consultation by correspondence so slow, it is difficult to arrange a meeting. I will take the route you suggest, however, if I understand it. We have small means of transportation, however. Send forward a little cavalry to communicate with me orally. Is the force between us too strong for you to fight, if it interposes itself?


The various suggestions and instructions in these dispatches seem to me to evidence a want of clear and well-defined plans; and all, however, seem to ignore Vicksburg, the defense of which I had conceived to be the main purpose of the Government in retaining the army in Mississippi.

I would only further remark that when General Johnston, on the 13th of May, informed me that Sherman was at Clinton, and ordered me to attack him in the rear, neither he nor I knew that Sherman was in the act of advancing on


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