it. You can save such of the guns as will be serviceable for your own defense, but be careful not to retain too much ammunition.
THOS. A. DAVIES,
HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Near Vicksburg, February 1, 1863.
Admiral DAVID S. PORTER,
Commanding Mississippi Squadron:
DEAR SIR: The Northern press, stimulated by parties here, have sown broadcast over our country the most malicious charges and insinuations against me personally, in consequence of my faire to reduce Vicksburg. I have some friends that will, I know, by sadly troubled by these reports. You observed the embarkation of my troops, their movement to the point of attack, and their re-embarkation; you know whether I took all possible means to gain information, and whether I acted with promptness or otherwise.
For the satisfaction of my brother, John Sherman, in the Senate, I would solicit a few lines from you on the matter generally, whether to your knowledge I brought my forces in good condition and well supplied to Young's Point; whether I delay unnecessarily; whether the point of disembarkation was not the best and only one afforded me, and whether I did not meet all difficulties promplty as they arose; whether I did not propose to you the attack on the Post of Arkansas, as the best possible use we caulk make of time whilst awaiting the arrival of Grant and Banks, and generally whether I acted the part of an intelligent officer or that of an insane fool.
With the utmost confidence in your judgment, I will ever remain, your friend and servant,
W. T. SHERMAN.
UNITED STATES MISSISSIPPI SQUADRON,
Yazoo River, February 3, 1863.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN:
GENERAL: I have received your letter of February 1. I have read with much indignation and surprise the malicious attacks of the Northern press. The same indignation is felt by all under my command. We understand perfectly the motives by which newspaper reporters are actuated in these matters, viz, your order to prevent any improper and unauthorized agents of the press following the army and furnishing the enemy with accounts of our anticipated movement. I recognize in your order the wisdom of a military leader. I take the liberty of inclosing some reports* I made to the honorable Secretary of the Navy. If I have made any mistake therein in relation to the assault at Vicksburg, it was owing to information I received from several quarters, and from my desire that you should have full credit for your untiring efforts to take Vicksburg. From the day I became acquainted with you at Memphis until our embarkation at Yazoo River for Arkansas Post, I have to remark that I never saw anything more promplty or better conducted, and I do not believe that any expedition of such magnitude was ever conducted with more order or system. It was the remark of my-
*The accompanying inclosures, taken from the Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy, are probably the documents referred to.