His Excellency the PRESIDENT:
It is reported that the last infantry coming leave Montgomery tonight. When they arrive shall have about 23,000. Pemberton can be saved only by beating Grant. Unless you can promise more troops, we must try with that number. The odds against us will be very great. Can you not add 7,000? Asked for another major-general-Wilcox, or whoever you may prefer. We want good general officers quickly. I have to organize an army, and collect ammunition, provisions, and transportation.
J. E. Johnston.
RICHMOND, VA., May 30, 1863.
General JOSEPH E. Johnston,
Your dispatch of 28th received. The Secretary of War reports the re-enforcement ordered to you as greater than the number you request. Added to the forces you have from Pemberton's army, he states your whole force to be 34,000, exclusive of militia. Bowen and Walker promoted. French and Breckinridge, ordered to you, will, I hope, meet you want of major-generals. If another be required, S. D. Lee is, I think, equal to that grade. Officers in the field here cannot be sent to you without too great delay. The troops sent to you were so fully organized that I suppose you will have little trouble as to organization, unless it be of militia. Colonel [Philip] Stockton can probably answer your requisitions for ammunition. You no doubt will be embarrassed by deficiency of field transportation. The recent robberies have diminished the amount in the country.
CANTON, May 31, 1863.
Your dispatch of 30th received. By official returns, troops near Canton, including Gist's and Walker's brigades of Beauregard's army, Ector's and McNair's of Bragg's, and Gregg's of Pemberton's, have effectives 9,400.
The troops near Jackson, including Loring's DIVISION and Maxey's brigade of Pemberton's troops and Evans' of Beauregard's, have effectives 7,800. Major-General Breckinridge reports to-day 5,800, Brigadier-General [W. H.] Jackson's cavalry, numbering about 1,600 when I was in Tennessee, not included, nor five field batteries, probably 400.
General Cooper informs me that no other re-enforcements have been ordered to this department. Major-General Gardner is invested in Port Hudson.
J. E. Johnston.
Referred to the Secretary of War for reply as to the difference between this statement and the reported number of troops sent to General Johnston and gained by him from General Pemberton.
J. D. [JEFFERSON DAVIS.]
*This letter not transmitted to Confederate Congress.