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[199] might think it safe to do so. To this I replied on the 4th: “The mistake on your part is, that all your numbers are too large; in reference to General Beauregard, nearly as ten to six. The troops you mention, including Jackson's, just arrived, are less than twenty-six thousand. My only plan is to relieve Vicksburg. My force is too small for the purpose. Tell me if you can increase it, and how much. Grant is receiving reinforcements. Port Hudson is closely invested. The great object of the enemy in this campaign is to acquire possession of the Mississippi. Can you collect here a force sufficient to defeat this object?”

In Mr. Seddon's next dispatch, dated June 5th, he said: “.... I regret my inability to promise more troops, as we have drained resources even to the danger of several points. You know best concerning General Bragg's army, but I fear to withdraw more. We are too far outnumbered in it1 to spare any. You must rely on what you have, and the irregular forces Mississippi can afford.” On the 8th he asked, on the same subject, “Do you advise more reenforcements from General Bragg?” I replied on the 10th: “I have not at my disposal half the number of troops necessary. It is for the Government to determine what department, if any, can furnish the reenforcements required.” The Secretary's dispatch, in cipher, could be only partially deciphered. On the 12th, something more being understood, the answer was continued: “To take from Bragg a force that would make this army fit to oppose Grant's, would involve yielding Tennessee. It is for the Government to ”

1 In Mr. Davis's quotation, in his letter of July 15th, this word is “Virginia.” In the dispatch to me it is a word of two letters.

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