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[223]

About the 20th of April, General Bragg was requested by me to send a strong brigade of cavalry into Mississippi. He promptly sent the nearest and strongest, General Pemberton. That brigade encountered the very troops, from Corinth, whose incursions General Pemberton wished to meet; and were contending with threefold odds of those troops, while the Federal army was crossing the Mississippi. They were thus employed in the service for which they were required, in his opinion.

Lieutenant-General Pemberton says: “With a moderate cavalry force at my disposal, I am firmly convinced that the Federal army under General Grant would have been unable to maintain its communications with the Mississippi; and that the attempt to reach Jackson and Vicksburg from that base would have been as signally defeated in May, 1863, as a like attempt, from another base, had, by the employment of cavalry, been defeated in December, 1862.” 1 In its march from Bruinsburg by Port Gibson to Jackson, and thence to Vicksburg, the Federal army drew its supplies from the country; and did not in the least depend on “its communications with the Mississippi.” Consequently, cavalry placed on what General Pemberton regarded as “its communications,” would have been altogetheruseless. Major. General Van Dorn's success, referred to, was obtained by the surprise of the garrison of Holly Springs and the destruction of General Grant's military supplies in depot in the town. At the time in question, General Grant had no garrison to be surprised nor depots to be destroyed, in Mississippi; and no disposition

1 See his report, p. 82.

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