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‘ [338] may for the time be necessary or desirable.’ While the events which have been described were occurring in Pemberton's command, he felt seriously the want of cavalry, and was much embarrassed by the necessity for substituting portions of his infantry to supply the deficiency of cavalry.

These embarrassments and the injurious consequences attendant upon them were frequently represented. In his report he states, after several other applications for cavalry, that on March 25th he wrote to General Johnston, commanding department, ‘urgently requesting that the division of cavalry under Major General Van Dorn, which had been sent to the Army of Tennessee for special and temporary purposes, might be returned.’ He gives the following extract from General Johnston's reply of April 3d to his request:

In the present aspect of affairs, General Van Dorn's cavalry is much more needed in this department than in that of Mississippi and East Louisiana, and can not be sent back as long as this state of things exists. You have now in your department five brigades of the troops you most require, viz., infantry, belonging to the Army of Tennessee. This is more than a compensation for the absence of General Van Dorn's cavalry command.

To this Pemberton rejoined that cavalry was indispensable, stating the positions where the enemy was operating on his communications, and the impossibility of defending the railroads by infantry. Referring to the advance of the enemy from Bruinsburg, Pemberton, in his report, makes the following statement:

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 communication with the Mississippi River, and that the attempt to reach Jackson and Vicksburg 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.

Pemberton commenced, after the retreat of Bowen, to concentrate all his forces for the great effort of checking the invading army, and on May 6th telegraphed to the Secretary of War that the reenforcements sent to him were very insufficient, adding: ‘The stake is a great one; I can see nothing so important.’ On May 12th he sent a telegram to General J. E. Johnston, and a duplicate to the President, announcing his purpose to meet the enemy then moving with heavy force toward Edward's Depot, and indicated that as the battlefield; he urgently asked for more Reenforcements: ‘Also, that three thousand cavalry be at once sent to operate on this line. I urge this as a positive necessity. The enemy largely outnumbers me, and I am obliged to hold back a large force at the ferries ’

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