War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0940 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

on the two roads. When I arrive at Yazoo and get reliable information that there is a force that I can afford to attack on the River road, I will give battle. Should I be victorious, I will feel the force on the other road, and if I should not be victorious on the River road, I will fall back behind the intrenchments, and to the best I can. It would be well, until positive information is gained, to hold Loring's DIVISION in hand. I shall use all the efforts I can to keep my communications to the rear open; but, of course, with the small cavalry force I have, I will have to trust to Providence; and should the enemy, after I get to Yazoo, take it into his head to march a column sufficient to occupy my attention at Yazoo, and then throw a large column between me and my rear, and march northward, it would have to be taken care of by Loring. I have directed General Adams to send Captain Nelson's company of cavalry to me, to use as I think best. Since writing, Colonel Ferguson's cavalry has come up, and I will, your sanction, retain them for awhile, until my mind is satisfied about the position of matters.

Very respectfully,


[P. S.]- The bridge we crossed at Moore's Ferry is a miserable affair. The citizens built it. Can't you get them to try their hands again? It is a terrible country we are marching through for water. At Benton we are using the wells, and it takes a long time to water such a force in that way.

PANOLA, MISS., May 31, 1863.

General Johnston:

Shall I send a force to Greenwood?

It is 75 miles from here.


PANOLA, May 31, 1863.

Colonel J. M. WALLACE:

MY DEAR FRIEND: Your favor yesterday has been received, and I am glad to see that all my friends have not "lost their reason and turned to brutish beasts. " I regret, of course, that the citizens should publicly censure me, but all the meetings that could be held will not drive me to sacrifice the lives of men instructed to my care and judgment in an utterly hopeless fight, nor to risk the los of our railroad, upon which now depends the whole of General Johnston's army for supplies. I am happy to say that General Johnston expressed the highest satisfaction that I have been able to amuse 15,000 of the enemy, stationed from Memphis to LA Grange, and prevent them so far from attempting to cross the Tallahatchee. When the history of this war is written, I have no fear that the charge of cowardice will be brought against me.

If I could have foreseen that the enemy would divide his force at Senatobia, and send only 800 men to Sardis, I might have done them much damage, and if I had a bridge at Panola, which I was building, and would have had ready if the citizens had not refused to let me have hands to build it, I could have retreated slowly, and watched the movements of the enemy, a thing which it would have been reckless to do when I had to trust to crossing on a boat, which takes more than half a day to cross my command. Since Sidney Johnston, Bragg, and Pemberton have been most foully and unjustly censured, I can bear my portion submissively, and the old womanish complaints of men who have