War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0888 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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CAMP, Between Livingston and Brownsville, May 17, 1863. [Received, May 18, in Vicksburg.]

Lieutenant-General PEMBERTON:

Your dispatch of to-day, by Captain [Thomas] Henderson, was received. If Haynes' Bluff is untenable, Vicksburg is of no value, and cannot be held. If, therefore, you are invested in Vicksburg, you must ultimately surrender. Under such circumstances, instead of losing both troops and place, we must, if possible, save the troops. If it is not too late, evacuate Vicksburg and its dependencies, and march to the northeast.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. Johnston.

[P. S.]-Please acknowledge receipt by the bearer.

RICHMOND, May 17, 1863.


There is pressing need of cavalry in Mississippi. Can you not spare Forrest or some other cavalry force for immediate movement there?

If so, order at once.


HDQRS. DEPT. MISS. AND E. La., Vicksburg, May 17, 1863.


Commanding, &c.:

Your desire, as expounded to Major Rorer, cannot be acceded to. You must fall back across the Big Black River, and operate in protecting Bridgeport and the approaches to Haynes' Bluff, or Snyder's Mill. On arrival on this side, you will unite Major Rorer's command with your own. This movement should be made at once.

By order of Lieutenant-General Pemberton:


Assistant Inspector-General.

BOVINA, May 17, 1863.

Major-General FORNEY, Vicksburg:

Send a train of cars here. The enemy's artillery has opened at the intrenchments at Big Black. Should they succeed in crossing at Bridgeport, it will be necessary to draw troops from Snyder's Mill. Subsistence must now be gotten into Vicksburg from that quarter as soon as possible, in the possible event of the evacuation of Snyder's. Ammunition must be destroyed, guns double charged and forced, unless they can be removed, and everything destroyed that cannot be removed.


HDQRS. DEPT. MISS. AND E. La., Vicksburg, May 17, 1863.

Brigadier General LOUIS HEBERT,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding directs me to instruct you* to evacuate the works at Snyder's Mill immediately, bringing off all artillery and infantry, with the exception of two companies or their


*These instructions are recorded in the Letters-sent book, Department of Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana, but a memorandum thereon, signed by General Pemberton, states that it is "erroneously copied. "