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[345] only to increase as far as possible the relieving army, and depend upon it to break the investment. The ability of the Federals to send reenforcements was so much greater than ours that the necessity for prompt action was fully realized; therefore, when General Johnston on May 9th was ordered to proceed to Mississippi, he was directed to take from the Army of Tennessee three thousand good troops, and informed that he would find reenforcements from General Beauregard. On May 12th a dispatch was sent to him at Jackson, stating, ‘In addition to the five thousand men originally ordered from Charleston [Beauregard], about four thousand more will follow. I fear more can not be spared to you.’ On May 22d I sent the following dispatch to General Bragg, at Tullahoma, Tennessee:
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?

To this he replied on May 23, 1863:

Sent thirty-five hundred with the General, three batteries of artillery and two thousand cavalry since; will dispatch six thousand more immediately.

In my telegram to General Bragg, after stating the necessity, I submitted the whole question to his judgment, having full reliance in the large-hearted and comprehensive view which his self-denying nature would take of the case, and I responded to him:

Your answer is in the spirit of patriotism heretofore manifested by you. The need is sore, but you must not forget your own necessities.

On June 1st General Johnston telegraphed to me that the troops at his disposal available against Grant amounted to twenty-four thousand one hundred, not including Jackson's cavalry command and a few hundred irregular cavalry. Mr. Seddon, Secretary of War, replied to him stating the force to be thirty-two thousand. In another dispatch, of June 5th, the Secretary says his statement rested on official reports of numbers sent, regrets his inability to promise more, as we had drained our resources even to the danger of several points, and urged speedy action. ‘With the facilities and resources of the enemy time works against us.’ Again, on the 16th, Secretary Seddon says:

If better resources do not offer, you must hazard attack.

On the 18th, while Pemberton was inspecting the entrenchments along which his command had been placed, he received by courier a communication from General Johnston, dated ‘May 17, 1863, camp between Livingston and Brownsville,’ in answer to Pemberton's report of the result

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