HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., July 10, 1863
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: The dispatch from His Excellency the President dated July 2, calling for my co-operation in the relief of Vicksburg, was received this morning.
As early as the 20th of May, I made arrangements for concentrating opposite Vicksburg all the disposable force in the department, Major-General Taylor, in person, commanding. These dispositions were made in advance of the investment of Vicksburg, and as soon as the fall of the overflow east of the Bayou Macon Hills admitted of operations from this direction. General Taylor's report has been forwarded. The enemy re-enforced and strengthened opposite Vicksburg, and with the power of throwing on the Peninsula in a few hours an overwhelming force from either flank of the investing army, they made their position impregnable.
I inclose the only communications received from General Johnston previous to the 3rd of July. His concern is there expressed for the garrison in Port Hudson; he calls upon me to do something for their succor, and announces his own preparations for the aid of Vicksburg.
On the 30th of June, I received the inclosed letter from General Elgee, and proceeded immediately in person to Delhi, General Walker's headquarters, and made arrangements for communicating with General Pemberton and for supplying his command with caps. I arrived at Monroe on the 3rd of July; the garrison of Vicksburg surrendered on the 4th. General Taylor's success in Lower Louisiana show that no efforts have been spared by him to make his demonstration for the relief of Port Hudson effective.
I inclose a letter from General Walker exhibiting the difficulties encountered in operating opposite Vicksburg.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
Returned to Secretary of War. The within and its inclosures explain why the effort of the Trans-Mississippi troops was directed in the first instance especially for the relief of Port Hudson.
J. D. [JEFFERSON DAVIS.]
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
CANTON, MISS., May 31, 1863
GENERAL: Port Hudson is invested by Major-General Banks: Vicksburg by Major-General Grant. I am preparing to aid Vicksburg, but i cannot march to Port Hudson without exposing my little army to destruction. If you can do anything to succor Port Hudson, I beg you to do it.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
58 R R-VOL XXII, PT II