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[565] would compel this; but the enemy has made no attempt, but skirmished all day yesterday. Should he not assault, we must attack him or leave the place. Prisoners say these are Ord's and Sherman's corps, and three other divisions. Their right is near the Raymond road, their left on Pearl River, opposite Insane Asylum.

J. E. Johnston.

Dispatch of this day received, and remarks on intrenched position noted. Though late to attempt improvement, every effort should be made to strengthen the line of defense, and compel the enemy to assault.

Beauregard and Bragg are both threatened — the former now engaged with the enemy. We are entitled to discharge of paroled prisoners, and the War Department will spare no effort to promptly secure it.

The importance of your position is apparent, and you will not fail to employ all available means to insure success.

I have too little knowledge of your circumstances to be more definite, and have exhausted my power to aid you.

Jefferson Davis.

Jackson, July 12, 1863.
To his Excellency President Davis:
Your dispatch of 11th received. A heavy cannonade this morning for two hours from batteries east of the Canton and south of the Clinton roads. The enemy's rifles reached all parts of the town, showing the weakness of the position and its untenableness against a powerful artillery.

Breckenridge's front, south of the town, was assaulted this morning, but not vigorously. A party of skirmishers of the First, Third, and Fourth Florida, Forty-seventh Georgia, and Cobb's battery, took the enemy in flank, and

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