War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0877 Chapter XXXVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -CONFEDERATE.

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CANTON, May 24, 1863.

The above, to the best of my recollection, is the substance of a dispatch sent by General Johnston to Lieutenant-General Pemberton the 15th May, 1863, from a point on the Jackson and Canton road, about 9 or 10 miles from Jackson. General Johnston dictated the dispatch, and I wrote it, placing "6,000" in cipher.


Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.

BOVINA, May 14, 1863.

General JOSEPH E. Johnston, Jackson:

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your communication. I move at once with whole available force, about 16,000, from Edwards Depot, leaving Vaughn's brigade, about 1,500, at Big Black Bridge. Tilghman's brigade, 1,500, now at Baldwin's Ferry, I have ordered to bring up the rear of my column. He will be, however, from 15 to 20 miles behind it. Baldwin's Ferry, I have ordered to bring up the rear of my column. He will be, however, from 15 to 20 miles behind it. Baldwin's Ferry will be left necessarily unprotected. To hold Vicksburg are Smith's and Forney's DIVISIONS, extending from Snyder's Mill to Warrenton, numbering, effective, 7,500 men. To this should have been added Waul's Legion, the Mississippi State troops, and Higgins'. The men have been marching several days, are much fatigued, and, I fear, will straggle very much. In directing this move, I do not think you fully comprehend the position that Vicksburg will be left in, but I comply at once with your order.



Lieutenant-General PEMBERTON:

GENERAL: The body of troops mentioned in my note of last night compelled Brigadier-General Gregg and his command to evacuate-Jackson about noon to-day. The necessity of taking the Canton road at right angles to that upon which the enemy approached prevented an obstinate defense. A body of troops, reported this morning to have reached Raymond last night, advanced at the same time from that direction. Prisoners say that it was McPherson's corps [four DIVISIONS], which marched from Clinton. I have no certain information of the other; both skirmished very cautiously. Telegrams were dispatched when the enemy was near, directing General Gist to assemble the approaching troops at a point 40 or 50 miles from Jackson, and General Maxey to return to his wagons, and provide for the security of his brigade, for instance, by joining General Gist. That body of troops will be able, I hope, to prevent the enemy in Jackson from drawing provisions from the east, and this one may be able to keep him from the country toward Panola. Can he supply himself from the Mississippi? Can you not cut him off from it, and, above all, should he be compelled to fall back for want of supplies, beat him? As soon as the re-enforcements are all up, they must be united to the rest of the army. I am anxious to see a force assembled that may be able to inflict a heavy blow upon the enemy. Would it not be better to place the forces to support Vicksburg between General Loring and that place, and merely observe the ferries so that you might unite, if opportunity to fight presented itself? General Gregg will move toward Canton to-morrow. If prisoners tell the truth, the forces at Jackson must be half of Grant's