here under guard. Since my return to this place, I find a telegram from Colonel Ewell, directing that the company be left in Bolivar County to get out supplies and keep the negroes in subjection, and, of course, I shall do so unless the commanding general shall otherwise order. I must, however, say that my experience is that men will not make good soldiers near home, and I am trying as far as possible to remove companies from the neighborhood in which they were raised. The refusal of these officers to bey my orders is well known; and, unless they are punished, must result in evil, and the difficulties attending the command, growing out of the fact that the companies have heretofore been independent, and are so near the enemy's lines, that they can desert and avoid capture, are already very great. I have left the company in Bolivar, and sent an officer to take charge of them, pending the arrest of their own officers, and have [sent] orders to him to get out all the provisions that he possibly can.
I shall prefer charges against the officers who refused to obey orders, and send them to you as soon as they arrive. I know that you must appreciate the importance of discipline, but you cannot appreciate it fully until you take into consideration the style of command and position of things in this district, where the men have been permitted to do just what they pleased, and where they can go into the enemy's lines and avoid service whenever they choose to desert. I have received your orders about the Kentucky deserters, and will try to arrest them, but it will have to be done by stratagem.
I telegraphed you about Captain [George W.] Mott upon information received in the bottom. He stated at more places than one that he would not rejoin his regiment, and to one Dr. Henderson that he would cross the river and go into Arkansas first. I was informed that he was last seen going in the direction of Carrollton. He may have been misrepresented, and, as he is now here, I will havestigated fully. Your orders about getting provisions from Issaquena will be obeyed as soon as possible, but it is very far from here, and I have telegraphed to know if I can send the companies from Greenwood, and will await an answer before I give any orders. There are no wagons in the bottom, and we can get nothing but beef-cattle, for the want of transportation.
JAMES R. CHALMERS.
JUNE 28, 1863.
General JOSEPH E. Johnston:
Dispatches of 19th and 22nd received. I am surprised that you have so small a force, but as the enemy has separated his so much and occupies so long a line, could not a combined, vigorous effort even yet raise the siege? The enemy occupies the peninsula opposite the city, and I think it would be entirely impracticable for General Taylor either to put in supplies or to cross the river, and equally so for me to cross the garrison over. *
J. C. PEMBERTON.
HEADQUARTERS, June 28, 1863.
Major-General BOWEN, Commanding:
GENERAL: The lieutenant-general has just been informed that General Smith will extend his line to-morrow morning, and cover the point now occupied by Major McDowell's command; therefore, Major McDowell
* Original indorsed in General Pemberton 's writing, "Not sent. "