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[239]

My reply was: “ The reinforcements sent to you exceed, by say seven thousand, the estimates of your dispatch of the 27th instant. We have withheld nothing which it was practicable to give you. We cannot hope for numerical equality, and time will probably increase the disparity.”

XXVIII. It is on this language that you rely to support a statement that I informed you no more troops could be spared from Tennessee, and as restricting your right to draw troops from that department. It bears no such construction. The reenforcements sent you, with an exception presently to be noticed, were from points outside of your department. You had in telegrams of the 1st, 2d, and 7th of May, and others, made repeated applications to have troops withdrawn from other departments to your aid. You were informed that we would give all the aid we possibly could. Of your right to order any change made in the distribution of troops in your own district, no doubt had ever been suggested by yourself nor could they occur to your superiors here, for they had given you the authority.

XXIX. The reinforcements, which went with you from Tennessee, were (as already explained and as was communicated to you at the time) a mere exchange for other troops sent from Virginia.

XXX. The troops subsequently sent to you from Bragg were forwarded by him under the following dispatch from me of the 22d of May: “ The vital issue of holding the Mississippi at Vicksburg is dependent on the success of General Johnston in an attack on the investing force. The intelligence from there is discouraging. Can you aid him? If so, ”


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