of the last thirty days sick and not upon duty, and a part of the time outside of the department.
My information, upon which I have based opinions that I shall embody in my reply to the first interrogatory, is gathered entirely from citizens, and is, of course, only entitled to such consideration as is usually given to information from such sources.
1st. I do not believe that the enemy in front has been materially weakened for any purpose.
2nd. I do not believe that there is much probability that the enemy will weaken their front here unless they are convinced that our army has been weakened by re-enforcements sent to General Grant. i am brought to this conclusion for the reason that I do not believe they will to any great extent risk the loss of their line of communication from east to west, and in that way destroy the means of supplying their Richmond army.
3rd. If we have force sufficient to overpower Bragg, with his numbers and in his own position, I should most unhesitatingly recommend an early advance upon him. Unless, however, there is an almost moral certainly tat our advance will be an entire success, I am of the opinion that the termination of the struggle at Vicksburg should be awaited as an event that must necessarily have a guiding influence on the movements of this army. Not knowing our own strength, and being, for the reasons stated, comparatively ignorant of that of Bragg, I would not venture to give an opinion which might be a basis of consideration or action.
If Grant is beaten at Vicksburg, his army is virtually destroyed, for the present at least. Our army on the Rappahannock has always been beaten, and seemingly neither we nor the country have much to hope for from their efforts.
With this unfortunate state of affairs in the East, and an impending and inevitable important military result, fortunate or unfortunate, in the West, I would most earnestly advise against any unnecessary risk being taken repulse, Northern Copperheadism and foregone intervention would go far toward forcing us into an abandonment of our cause and a dishonorable settlement with the rebels.
I am, colonel, your very obedient servant,
ROBT. B. MITCHELL,
June 10, 1863 - 9.30 p. m.
Scouts in at Corinth report that Bragg is moving his stores to Atlanta. Breckinridge is at Jackson, with 10,000 men. Johnston not more than 30,000 strong, except militia; artillery horses going forward to him in large numbers. All citizens of Mississippi called on for ninety days. Troops expected daily from Tennessee, Savannah, and Georgia. Five thousand of Herron's division has arrived. Seven thousand of my corps went to Grant yesterday. One brigade of Parker's division is here. The rest expected to-morrow.
S. A. HURLBUT,
We are doing things slowly.