War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0238 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI

Search Civil War Official Records

ston of his operations in the Department of Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana. In natural connection with this, I likewise send the report of Lieutenant General J. C. Pemberton* of the battles of Port Gibson, Baker's Greek, and the siege of Vicksburg, which is among the reports called for by the House of Representatives. With the latter is presented a letter from the Department, asking further explanations on some points of the reports, and the answer made there to at the time by General Pemberton. Subsequently, after seeing the report of General Johnston, General Pemberton considered his reply to that letter as not so fully elucidating the points of inquiry as the additional details presented by General Johnston rendered appropriate and necessary. He therefore asked the privilege of making a further reply, which, in justice to himself, was accorded. That reply is likewise annexed, and thus the whole subject, it is believed, will be fairly and satisfactorily submitted in appropriate connection.

Respectfully submitted.


Secretary of War.


MERIDIAN, MISS., November 1, 1863.

SIR: The following report of my operations in the Department of Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana is respectfully offered as a substitute for the imperfect one forwarded by me from Jackson on May 27, 1863. While on my way to Mississippi, where I thought my presence had become necessary, I received, in Mobile, on March 12, the following telegram from the Secretary of War, dated March 9:

Order General Bragg to report to the War Department for conference. Assume yourself direct charge of the Army of Middle Tennessee.

In obedience to this order, I at once proceeded to Tullahoma. On my arrival, I informed the Secretary of War, by a telegram of March 19, that General Bragg could not then be sent to Richmond, as he was ordered, on account of the critical condition of his family. On April 10, I repeated this to the President, and added:

Being unwell then, I afterward became sick, and ao serve in the field. General Bragg is therefore necessary here.

On the 28th, my unfitness for service in the field was reported to the Secretary of War.

On May 9. I received, at Tullahoma, the following dispatch of the same date from the Secretary of War:

Proceed at once to Mississippi and take chief command of the forces there, giving to those in the field, as far as practicable, the encouragement and benefit of your personal direction.

It is thus seen that neither my orders nor my health permitted me to visit Mississippi after March 12, until the time when I took direct charge of that department.

From the time of my arrival at Tullahoma until April 14, General Pemberton's reports, all by telegraph, indicated that the efforts of the enemy would be against General Bragg rather than himself, and looked to the abandonment of his attempts on Vicksburg.

In that of April 13, he says:

I am satisfied Rosecrans will be re-enforced from Grant's army. Shall I order troops to Tullahoma?


*See Number 11, p. 249. See p. 220. Transmitted by DAVIS.