War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0227 Chapter XXXVI. GENERAL REPORTS.

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JACKSON, MISS., June 15, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON:

Your repeated dispatch of the 8th is deciphered. I cannot advise in regard to the points from which troops can best be taken, having no means of knowing, nor is it for me to judge which it is best to hold-Mississippi or Tennessee; that is for the Government to determine. Without some great blunder of the enemy we cannot hold both. The odds against me are much greater than those you express. I consider saving Vicksburg hopeless.

J. E. Johnston.


Richmond, Va., June 16, 1863.

General JOSEPH E. Johnston:

Your telegram grieves and alarms me. Vicksburg must not be lost without a desperate struggle. The interest and honor of the Confederacy forbid it. I rely on you still to avert the loss. If

better resources do not offer, you must hazard attack. It may be made in concert with the garrison, if practicable, but otherwise without, by day or night, as you think best.


Secretary of War.

JACKSON, MISS., June 16, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON:

General Bragg informs me that a telegram from Louisville of the 10th says that part of the NINTH and Twenty-THIRD Corps have been sent to re-enforce Grant. Will not this enable us to invade Kentucky? For this, General Bragg's command should extend over East Tennessee.

J. E. Johnston,


JACKSON, MISS., June 19 [18], 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON:

Dispatch of 16th received. I think that you do not appreciate the difficulties in the course you direct nor the probabilities or consequences of failure. Grant's position, naturally very strong, is intrenched and protected by powerful artillery, and the roads obstructed. His re-enforcements have been at least equal to my whole force. The Big Black covers him from attack, and would cut off our retreat if defeated. We cannot combine operations with General Pemberton from uncertain and slow communication. The defeat of this little army would at once open Mississippi and Alabama to Grant. I will do all I can, without hope of doing more than aid to extricate the garrison.

J. E. Johnston.

JACKSON, MISS., June 19, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON:

A courier has arrived here with dispatches from General Gardner of the 10th instant. The courier reports the garrison in good spirits. General Gardner states that he has repulsed the enemy in several severe