intentions, and to the subversion of his matured plans.”
The author of such a measure might well regard defeat inevitable in a battle brought on by it.
To be successful in that campaign, it was necessary that the Confederate
general should comprehend that he must defeat the invading army in the field, and that Vicksburg
must fall if besieged.
The invading army could not be defeated without the concentration of the Confederate forces; but they were always more divided than the much more numerous army of the enemy.
And the whole course of the Confederate
general indicates a determination, from the beginning, to be besieged in Vicksburg
Our best opportunity to engage the Federal
army was, manifestly, while it was divided in the passage of the Mississippi
Such a force as that which Lieutenant-General Pemberton
afterward placed near Edwards's Depot
, used for this object, and directed with vigor, would have had all reasonable chance of success.
As well convinced of it then as now, I directed Lieutenant-General Pemberton
to attack the enemy with all his force, as soon as I was informed, by his dispatch of May 1st, that Major-General Bowen
had been attacked by a large body of Federal troops.
This order was repeated on the 2d, only to be disregarded.
Advantageous opportunities to engage the Federal
army were offered continually, until the investment of Vicksburg
; for, until then, that army had been united but three or four of the twenty days elapsed since it began to cross the Mississippi
If Lieutenant-General Pemberton
had obeyed either of my orders to march eastwardly from Edwards