pable of holding these place against combined attacks until succored by the active army.
Major-General Smith has about 5,900 artillery and infantry for duty to defend a line of 10 miles, exclusive of the position of Snyder's Mill, which requires three of his eight regiments. Should the enemy attack by land as well as by water, which is highly probable-almost certain-we would require at least eight more regiments of 500 or 600 men each.
I have not seen Port Hudson, but a map of the ground gives me the opinion that it requires a garrison as strong as that necessary here. It now amounts to about 5,500 of all arms, so that an addition of as many more will be required there, in all 11,000 or 12,000 men.
For the active force we have now 21,000 near the Yalabusha. About 9,000 have been ordered to this department from Lieutenant-General Smith, and it is supposed that an equal force in on its way from Arkansas.
No more troops can be taken from General Bragg without the danger of enabling Rosecrans to more into Virginia or to re-enforce Grant. Our great object it to hold the Mississippi. The country beyond the river is as much interested in that object as this, and the loss to us of the Mississippi insoles that of the country beyond it. The 8,000 or 10,000 men which are essential to safety ought therefore, I respectfully suggest, to be taken from Arkansas, to return 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 be young it which he might have gained in the mean time.
I respectfully ask Your Excellency's attention to the accompanying letter* of Major-General Smith, in relation to the indecency of the garrison of Vicksburg, begging you to take his estimate of the force needed instead of mine, as his based upon accurate calculation.+
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Numbers 7. Grenada, Miss., December 22, 1862.
Hereafter the corps commanders will give their special attention to the protection of all private property from any injury of depredation by their command, and they will charge their inspectors-general with and see to their making daily investigation for such cases, and on their occurrence they will promptly report the commanding officer of the offenders to this office, and will notify the proper paymaster that such company, battalion, squadron, or regiment as the said offenders may belong to will not be paid until the cost of the injury in iced be subtracted from the amount due the same.
Great responsibility rents with the commanders of troops of his army in their co-operation in carrying out the intent of the above, lest disgrace be brought upon this command.
By ordered of Lieutenant-General Pemberton:
J. C. TAYLOR,
Aide-de-Camp and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
* Not found.
+ Copy was referred by Mr. Davis to General Holmes. See Holmes to Johnston December 29, 1862, p. 810.
51 R R-VOL XVII, PT II