reported that the enemy's scouts only reached the bay twenty-four hours after Taylor's troops had withdrawn. In the recital of those events connected with the sieges of Port Hudson and Vicksburg, enough has been given to show the great anxiety of the administration to retain those two positions as necessary to continued communication between the Confederate States on the east and west sides of the Mississippi River. The reader will not have failed to observe that General Johnston, commanding the department, and General Pemberton, the district commander, entertained quite different views. The former considered the safety of the garrisons of such paramount importance that the position should be evacuated rather than the loss of the troops hazarded; the latter regarded the holding of Vicksburg as of such vital consequence that an army should be hazarded to maintain its possession. When General Pemberton and his forces were besieged in Vicksburg, every effort was made to supply General Johnston with an army which might raise the siege. While General Johnston was at Jackson, preparing to advance against the army investing Vicksburg, the knowledge that the enemy was receiving large reenforcements made it evident that the most prompt action was necessary for success; of this General Johnston manifested a clear perception, for on May 25th he sent Pemberton the following message:
Bragg is sending a division; when it comes, I will move to you.After all the troops which could be drawn from other points had been sent to him, it was suggested that he might defeat the force investing Port Hudson, and unite the garrison with his troops at Jackson, but he replied:
We can not relieve Port Hudson without giving up Jackson, by which we should lose Mississippi.On June 29th General Johnston reports that—
Field transportation and other supplies having been obtained, the army marched toward the Big Black, and on the evening of July 1st encamped between Brownsville and the river.The 2d and 3d of July were spent in reconnaissance, from which the conclusion was reached that an attack on the north side of the railroad was impracticable, and examinations were commenced on the south side of the railroad. On the 3d a messenger was sent to General Pemberton that an attempt would be made about the 7th, by an attack on the enemy, to create a diversion which might enable Pemberton to cut his way out. The message was not received, and Pemberton, despairing of aid from the exterior, capitulated on the 4th.