previous next
‘ [100] after the crisis in this department. I firmly believe, however, that our true system of warfare would be to concentrate the forces of the two departments on this side of the Mississippi, beat the enemy here, and then reconquer the country beyond it which he might have gained in the meantime.’ Mr. Davis thereupon, while at Vicksburg, addressed a letter to Gen. T. H. Holmes, inclosing copies of Generals Johnston's and Smith's letters to himself, and after pressing upon him his own as well as General Johnston's view of the vital importance of preventing the enemy's getting control of the Mississippi and dismembering the Confederacy, continued, ‘It seems to me, then, unquestionably the best that you should reinforce General Johnston so as to enable you successfully to meet the enemy, and by his defeat destroy his power for future operations against you as would be irresistible by your isolated force, and by the same means to place the army here in such condition as would enable it in turn to reinforce you when the season will make it practicable for you by active operations to expel the army from Arkansas. * * * I hope you will be able to detach the required number of men to reinforce General Johnston to the extent set forth in the accompanying letters. * * * Whatever may be done should be done with all possible dispatch.’

On December 29th Gen. T. H. Holmes acknowledged the receipt of Mr. Davis' letter with inclosures, to ‘Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, commanding the department of the West,’ and while concurring in all that had been said as to the importance of holding Vicksburg, ‘which can scarcely be exaggerated,’ he replied, among other things, that while it was painful to him to have failed for any reason to render the desired assistance, he considered it imperative to retain all his small force, which had been greatly exaggerated—not exceeding at any time 22,000 effective men, for the defense of the valley of the Arkansas.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Arkansas (Arkansas, United States) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Joseph E. Johnston (5)
T. H. Holmes (2)
Jefferson Davis (2)
A. J. Smith (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
December 29th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: