War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0889 Chapter XXXVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -CONFEDERATE.

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equivalents, whose duty it will be to remain and make a show of force on the approach of the enemy. If the enemy take the place, they [the two companies] will spike the heavy guns and destroy all supplies which you are forced to abandon. They will then make their way to this point, if possible. They will endeavor to join General Johnston. This is in reply to communication to General Forney.


Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF MISS. AND E. La., Bovina, May 17, 1863.

Colonel [A. E.] REYNOLDS:

You will continue to occupy the position you now occupy. Hold it as long as possible. If, being flanked, you cannot secure your command, you will fall back slowly and in good order to Bovina.

By order of Lieutenant-General Pemberton:



HEADQUARTERS, Forest Station, May 17, 1863.

General JOSEPH E. Johnston:

GENERAL: I received your letters of May 16, 8 a. m. and 11 a. m., respectively, last night and this morning. Having learned the probable evacuation of Jackson by the enemy, I will move to Brandon to-day with the troops here, some 2,000 strong, and I have ordered General [E.] McNair to follow me from Meridian, leaving Brigadier-General Ector with about 1,000 of his brigade at that place, in accordance with instructions contained in your first letter. The enemy did not visit Brandon at all. I am having railroad and telegraphic communication restored with Jackson as speedily as possible. I will proceed to-day to near Brandon, and if I do not receive further orders from you, and Jackson be evacuated, will join you at that place. General McNair is only some 1,500 strong. Please send me your further instructions to Brandon, if Jackson is evacuated. I have no wagons as yet, but will move the troops by rail, in light marching order, with five days' supplies, and leave my quartermaster to follow with the heavy baggage and field transportation. I expect to be at Brandon by 7 p. m. this evening, and will take care of any raid that the enemy may make in that direction.




Secretary of War:

A brigade of cavalry from Northern Alabama moved to Mississippi several days ago. Another DIVISION is ordered to-day.


Vicksburg, MISS, May 18, 1863.

General JOSEPH E. Johnston:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication in reply to mine by the hands of Captain [Thomas] Henderson. In a subsequent letter of same date as the latter, I informed you that the men failed to hold the trenches at Big Black Bridge, and that, as a consequence, Snyder's Mill was directed to be abandoned. On receipt