enemy bombards the city day and night from seven mortars on opposite side of peninsula; he also keeps up constant fire on our lines with artillery and sharpshooters; we are losing many officers and men. I am waiting most anxiously to know your intentions.
Have heard nothing from you nor of you since 25th of May.
I shall endeavor to hold out as long as we have any thing to eat....
On the 12th he said in a brief note: “... Very heavy firing yesterday, from mortars and on lines,” and on the 15th: “The enemy has placed several very heavy guns in position against our works, and is approaching them very nearly.
His firing is almost continuous.
Our men are becoming much fatigued, but are still in pretty good spirits.
I think your movement should be made as soon as possible.
The enemy is receiving reinforcements.
We are living on greatly-reduced rations, but, I think, sufficient for twenty days.”
In dispatches dated 14th and 15th I told General Pemberton
that our joint forces could not compel the enemy to raise the siege of Vicksburg
, and therefore that we could attempt no more than to save the garrison, but that for this exact cooperation was indispensable; that my communications could best be preserved by my operating north of the railroad; and inquired where an attack upon the enemy by me would be most favorable to him. He was also informed that Major-General Taylor
, with eight thousand men, would endeavor to open communications with him from Richmond, Louisiana
He replied on the 21st:
.... I suggest that, giving me full information in time to act, you move by the north of the railroad, drive in the enemy's