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[586] out of my power to furnish. To have made purchases under such circumstances would have been simply ridiculous. A cargo of bacon which had been run up Choctaw Bayou on the eighteenth of April, to avoid the enemy's gunboats on Red River, was, by the energetic exertions of Mr. Howell Hinds, of Jefferson county, Miss., successfully transported across the river to Port Gibson. I was extremely anxious to get this meat to Port Hudson, but the difficulties of transportation prevented, and before it could be removed by General Bowen to a point of safety, it became necessary to destroy much of it, to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy. In this connection, I again refer to the fact that when I was compelled to abandon Snyder's Mills, there was at least thirty thousand bushels of corn at that place. I mention this to show that there was no deficiency of corn in the department, but that the great, and, indeed, insuperable obstacle, was the want of transportation by dirt road, and the almost constant and daily interruption of railroad communication on the Southern road, which was the only means of transportation of subsistence to Vicksburg. I think I have now shown conclusively that I spared no exertion to have Vicksburg and Port Hudson abundantly provisioned, and that whenever the supply fell short of the demand or of my expectations, it was caused by circumstances wholly beyond my control. In this connection I may add, that I had, at the time of the surrender of Vicksburg, about forty thousand pounds of pork and bacon, which had been reserved for the subsistence of my troops in the event of attempting to cut my way out of the city; also, fifty-one thousand two hundred and forty-one pounds of rice; five thousand bushels of peas; ninety-two thousand two hundred and thirty-four pounds of sugar; three thousand two hundred and forty pounds of soap; five hundred and twenty-seven pounds of tallow candles; twenty-seven pounds of star candles, and four hundred and twenty-eight thousand pounds of salt.

Much unnecessary clamor has been raised about the want of ammunition in Vicksburg. I have already shown that my supply of ammunition was large, and the principal, indeed the only, deficiency was in musket-caps. The appendix devoted to the subject of ordnance will demonstrate that I am not responsible for that deficiency, whatever its extent may have been. I therefore beg special attention to my telegrams to Colonel Gorgas, of the Ordnance Department, for ordnance and ammunition, commenced as early as November, within three weeks after I assumed command of the department, and they were continued persistently up to almost the last hour of uninterrupted communication with Richmond. I believe that the Chief of Ordnance furnished me with everything in his power. I only desire that I may not be held responsible for what the government could not furnish.

I am unable, as yet, to give full reports of the casualties at Baker's Creek, Big Black, and during the siege of Vicksburg. They will be forwarded as soon as division commanders shall have rendered them complete. The same with reference to ordnance and ordnance stores. Very many officers and soldiers have distinguished themselves by particular acts of gallantry, or have rendered themselves conspicuous by untiring exertions and devotion to duty. So many, indeed, as to preclude the possibility of my referring to each in the body of this report; attention is therefore respectfully invited to the appendix, and to the reports of division, brigade, and other commanders.

I cannot close, however, without expressing my especial thanks to Major-Generals C. S. Stevenson, J. H. Forney, and M. L. Smith, and to Brigadier-Generals Barton, Cummings, Lee, and Colonel A. W. Reynolds, of General Stevenson's division. To Major-General Forney's brigade commanders, Brigadier-Generals Hebert and Moore; to Major-General M. L. Smith's brigade commanders, Brigadier-Generals Shoupe, Baldwin, and Vaughn; to Colonels Gates, Dockery, and Cockrell, of Bowen's division, and to Colonel Higgins, commanding the river batteries, and to Colonel Waul, commanding Texas Legion. If the most unremitting attention to the arduous duties of their position, entitle officers to commendation and respect, they have each and all won it during the protracted and trying siege. To Major-General C. S. Stevenson I am particularly indebted for much and valuable aid in many ways during the siege; to his immediate supervision was principally intrusted the subsistence of the troops.

To the officers of my staff I return my sincere thanks for the cheerful and zealous manner in which they have discharged all their duties. Colonel Thomas H. Taylor, who accompanied me on the field at Baker's Creek, and who, during the siege, was assigned to duty as Inspector-General and Commandant of the Post, in both capacities rendered most valuable service. Major Jacob Thomson, Inspector-General of the department, also accompanied me on the field on that occasion, as on all others, whether in the office or in the active performance of the duties of his department, has ever shown himself zealous and competent. Major Thompson, immediately after the retreat into Vicksburg, was, in company with Major Sprague, dispatched to communicate in person with General Johnston. Major R. W. Memminger, A. A. G., and Chief of Staff, and Major W. H. McArdle, A. A. G., have for many months been in the constant performance of their arduous and responsible duties pertaining to the Adjutant-General's department. It is little to say, that on these officers, assisted by Second Lieutenant F. M. Stafford, C. S. A., and A. A. A. G., has devolved a labor and an amount of business scarcely equalled in any other military department of the Confederacy; day and night they have devoted themselves to the public service, and I specially commend them and Major J. Thompson to the favorable consideration

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