War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0916 Mississippi. WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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CANTON, May 24, 1863.

The PRESIDENT, Richmond:

The following, received by courier at Jackson yesterday, from General Pemberton, telegraphed to me by Colonel Ewell:

May 20. - Enemy assaulted intrenchments yesterday on center and left. Were repulsed with heavy loss. Our loss small. Enemy's force at least 60,000.

May 21. - Enemy kept up heavy artillery fire yesterday. Two guns dismounted in center and works injured. Their sharpshooters picked off officers and men all day. Works repaired and guns replaced last night. The great question is ammunition. The men are encouraged by the report that you are near with a large army, and are in good spirits.

J. E. Johnston.

CANTON, May 24, 1863.

Major-General LORING, Jackson:

Send the caps and the following dispatch to General Pemberton:

RICHMOND, May 23, 1863.


Your dispatch of 19th received. I made every effort to re-enforce you promptly, which, I am grieved, was not successful. Hope that General Johnston will soon join you with enough force to break up the investment and defeat the enemy. Sympathizing with you for the reverses sustained, I pray God may yet give success to you and the brave troops under your command.


J. O. Johnston.

PANOLA, MISS., May 24, 1863.

General JOSEPH E. Johnston, Canton:

A scout reports a force of infantry, artillery, and cavalry in Her- Nanda yesterday, moving this way. Enemy in force at Sardis and Davis' Chapel, 7 miles from here, at 1 o'clock to-day, and moving on. River fordable in many places. I shall hold the place as long as possible.


HDQRS. FIFTH MIL. DIST., DEPT. MISS. AND E. La., Panola, May 24, 1863.

Colonel [W. F.] SLEMONS, Commanding SECOND Brigade:

COLONEL: The brigadier-general commanding directs that you remain on the river as long as you think you can do so with advantage to the service, or as long as you have ammunition for your rifled gun.

Scouts have been sent out to watch the movements of the enemy, with orders to notify you if they should attempt to get into the bottom, but, to insure your safety, the general directs that you throw out pickets to Brown's Ferry and Hudson's bridge, to guard against an advance by those routes. He also directs that you build a brigade across Yazoo Pass, and that, if hard pressed by the enemy, you retreat over it into Coahoma County. You will keep the general advised of your movements, so that information or orders may be sent to you.

Could you use smooth-bore 6-pounders advantageously, if sent to you? Can they be taken through the bottom easily?


Assistant Adjutant-General.

P. S. -To insure the delivery of this order, a duplicate copy has been sent by another route. Since forwarding it, the enemy are reported to