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rtant to reestablish communications, that you may be reenforced.
If practicable, come up in his rear at once—to beat such a detachment would be of immense value.
Troops here could cooperate.
All the troops you can quickly assemble should be brought.
Time is all-important.
On the same day, the 14th, General Pemberton, then at Bovina, replied:
I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your communication.
I moved at once with whole available force, about sixteen thousand, leaving Vaughan's brigade, about fifteen hundred, at Big Black Bridge; Tilghman's brigade, fifteen hundred, now at Baldwin's Ferry, I have ordered to bring up the rear of my column; he will be, however, from fifteen to twenty miles behind it. Baldwin's Ferry will be left, necessarily, unprotected.
To hold Vicksburg are Smith's and Forney's divisions, extending from Snyder's Mills to Warrenton, numbering effectives seven thousand eight hundred men. . . . I do not think that you fully comprehend the positio
rans at Corinth had about 15,000, with about 8,000 additional men at outposts from twelve to fifteen miles distant.
In addition to this force the enemy had at Memphis, under Sherman, about 6,000 men; at Bolivar, under Ord, about 8,000; at Jackson, Tennessee, under Grant, about 3,000; at bridges and less important points, 2,000 or 3,000—making an aggregate of 42,000 in west Tennessee and north Mississippi.
Corinth, though the strongest, was from its salient position the point it was most feaUnited States Army.
He had materially strengthened the works around Corinth, and had interposed every possible obstacle to an assault.
Our army had moved rapidly from Ripley, its point of junction, had cut the railroad between Corinth and Jackson, Tennessee, and at daybreak on March 3d was deployed for attack.
By ten o'clock our force confronted the enemy inside his entrenchments.
In half an hour the whole line of outer works was carried, the obstructions passed, and the battle opened in ear