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[254] Bragg with a part of the troops of the Department of Mississippi, if he should require aid, and informed General Bragg of the inquiry; telling him also that, in the event of an affirmative answer, two divisions would be sent to him. In preparation for the contingency, Major-Generals Breckenridge and W. H. S. Walker were directed to hold their divisions ready to move; and Major Barbour, chief quartermaster, to order the necessary means of railroad transportation. General Cooper's reply, in the affirmative, was received that evening, as well as Major Barbour's report that the railroad trains required were promised at two o'clock P. M. next day. General Bragg was immediately told of this, and informed that the troops would move as soon as the railroad-trains were ready. He was also requested to give the necessary orders at West Point and Atlanta.

All the infantry in the department would have been sent to the assistance of the Army of Tennessee but for the supposed probability of the investment of Mobile by the enemy. According to the estimates of Major-General Maury, and his chief-engineer, Brigadier-General Leadbetter, fifteen thousand infantry would be necessary for the defense of the place on the land-side in the event of a siege. He had but two thousand; and they and the troops remaining in Mississippi, to join the garrison if necessary, amounted to but eleven thousand.

On the 29th Lieutenant-General Hardee was assigned by the Administration to the service of reorganizing the prisoners paroled at Vicksburg and then returning from furlough. He fixed his headquarters

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