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[566] captured two hundred prisoners and the colors of the Twenty-eighth, Forty-first, and Fifty-third Illinois regiments. Heavy skirmishing all day yesterday.

J. E. Johnston.

Jackson, July 13, 1863.
To his Excellency the President:
Your dispatch of the 11th received.

I think Grant will keep the Vicksburg prisoners until operations here are ended. He may be strongly reinforced from Port Hudson. If the position and works were not bad, want of stores, which could not be collected, would make it impossible to stand siege. If the enemy will not attack, we must, or at the last moment withdraw. We cannot attack without seriously risking the army. But it is difficult to yield this vital point without a struggle. In afternoon of 11th the enemy extended his right to Pearl River.

J. E. Johnston.

Jackson, July 14, 1863.
To his Excellency President Davis:
We learn from Vicksburg that a large force lately left that place to turn us on the north. This will compel us to abandon Jackson. The troops before us have been intrenching, and erecting batteries ever since their arrival.

J. E. Johnston.

Jackson, July 15, 1863.
To President Davis:
The enemy will not attack, but has intrenched. Is evidently making a siege, which we cannot resist. It would be madness to attack him. In the beginning it might have been done. But I thought then that want of water would compel him to attack us. It is reported by some of its officers who were here yesterday, and by some gentlemen of Brandon, that the Vicksburg garrison is diminishing rapidly. Incessant but slight cannonading kept up; our loss, in killed and wounded, about three hundred and fifty. The remainder


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