War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0199 Chapter XXXVI. GENERAL REPORTS.

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JACKSON, MISS., July 7, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War:

Vicksburg capitulated on the 4th instant. Garrison was paroled and are to be returned to our lines, the officers retaining their side-arms and personal baggage. This intelligence was brought by an officer who left the place on Sunday, the 5th. In consequence, I am falling back from the Big Black River to Jackson.

J. E. Johnston.

RICHMOND, VA., July 8, 1863.

General JOSEPH E. Johnston,

Jackson, MISS.:

Your dispatch of 5th instant received. The mistakes it contains will be noticed by letter. Your dispatch of 7th instant, to Secretary of War, announcing the disastrous termination of the siege of Vicksburg, received same day. Painfully anxious as to the result, I have remained without information from you as to any plans proposed or attempted to raise the siege. Equally uninformed as to your plans in relation to Port Hudson, I have to request such information in relation thereto as the Government has a right to expect from one of its commanding generals in the field.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

JACKSON, MISS., July 9, 1863.

His Excellency the PRESIDENT:

Your dispatch of to-day* received. I have never meant to fail in the duty of reporting to the Executive whatever might interest it in my command. I informed the Secretary of War that my force was much too weak to attempt to raise the siege of Vicksburg, and that to attempt to relieve Port Hudson would be to give up Mississippi, as it would involve the loss of this point, and that the want of adequate means of transportation Vicksburg to attempt to extricate the garrison, but could not devise a plan until after reconnoitering, for which I was too late. Without General Pemberton's co-operation, any attempt must have resulted in disaster. The slowness and difficulty of communication rendered cooperation next to impossible.

J. E. Johnston.

RICHMOND, VA., July 9, 1863.

General JOSEPH E. Johnston,

Jackson, MISS.:

If it be true that General Taylor has joined General Gardner and routed Banks, you will endeavor to draw heavy re-enforcements from that army and delay a general engagement until your junction is effected. Thus it is to be hoped the enemy may yet be crushed and the late disaster be repaired.

Send by telegraph a list of the general and staff officers who have come out on parole from Vicksburg, so that they may be exchanged immediately.