ought to decide. This is the point on which the order failed. Should it fail on such a point? If it is right; if it is exigent; if it alone can save the Mississippi Valley, and, above all, render certain the nothing of maintaining our hold on the river and communications with the country beyond it, ought it not to be done by somebody? If so, by whom more properly than the President of the Confederacy, the center of all executive power? He ought to decide the question and take the responsibility. It may be that his decision involves the very fate of the Republic itself.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. J. HARVIE,
Colonel and Inspector-General, General Johnston's Staff.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST, Numbers 11.
Jackson, MISS., June 21, 1863.
* * * * * * *
IV. By Special Orders, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, major-General French has been assigned to duty in this department. His command will consist of a DIVISION, composed of the brigades of Brigadier-General Evans, Brigadier-General Maxey, and Brigadier-General McNair.
By command of General Johnston:
BENJ. S. EWELL,
HEADQUARTERS, Jackson, June 21, 1863.
Abstract from field return of the following brigades:
McNair's brigade, aggregate present, 1,517; aggregate present and absent, 2,394. [N. G.] Evans' brigade, aggregate present, 2,890; aggregate present and absent, 3,803. [S. B.] Maxey's brigade, aggregate present, 2,986; aggregate present and absent, 4,187.
The thirty-NINTH North Carolina Regiment has recently been attached to McNairs brigade. The brigade return does not state whether it is included or not.
Respectfully sent to Major-General French for his information.
BENJ. S. EWELL,
JUNE 22, 1863.
Your dispatch of the 15th received. General [Richard] Taylor is sent by General E. K. Smith to co-operate with you from the WEST bank of the river; to throw in supplies and to cross with his force, if expedient and practicable. I will have the means of moving toward the enemy in a day or two, and will try to make a diversion in your favor, and, if possible, communicate whit you, though I fear my force is too small to effect the latter. I have only two-THIRDS of the force you told Messenger Sanders to state to me as the least with which you think I ought to make an attack.