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[222] an army of thirty-five thousand men might have been formed. Such a force, properly commanded, would have prevented the siege of Vicksburg.

Being confident that, should Vicksburg be besieged, a Confederate force sufficient to break the investment would not be assembled for the purpose, as well as of the fact that it and Port Hudson had lost their importance since the occupation of the river between them by many Federal vessels-of-war, I directed the evacuation of both places. Port Hudson was invested before the order reached General Gardner, if it ever reached him. It was received by General Pemberton,1 but set aside, by advice of a council of war; for the extraordinary reason that, “it was impossible to withdraw the army from this position” 2 (Vicksburg) “with such morale and material as to be of further service to the Confederacy.” This assertion was fully refuted by the courage and constancy with which “the army” faced the dangers and endured the labors and hardships of along siege.

Lieutenant-General Pemberton dwells much upon his want of cavalry, which he attributes to me; and repeatedly refers to his applications to me for troops of that arm. These applications specified that the troops were required to repel raids in Northern Mississippi. Indeed, General Pemberton's whole correspondence with me in April indicated that he was much more apprehensive of predatory incursions, than of the formidable invasion preparing under his eyes.

1 This was my fourth order to General Pemberton; see p. 181, for this order.

2 See p. 49 of General Pemberton's report.

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