HDQRS. FIFTH MIL. DIST., DEPT. MISS. AND E. La.,
Panola, July 7, 1863.
Lieutenant-Colonel [H. R.] WITHERS,
Comdg. 2nd Regiment Ark. Cav.:
COLONEL: I am direct by the brigadier-general commanding to say that he greatly fears, from the intelligence he has received, that Vicksburg has been captured.
He therefore directs that you move with your command out of the bottom as soon as possible, via the mouth Coldwater, bringing with you as many cattle as you can collet.
You will send a courier in advance to notify the general when you will be at the mouth Coldwater, and orders for your subsequent movements will be sent to meet you there.
W. A. GOODMAN,
Abstract from returns of Breckinridge's and Loring's DIVISIONS
Department of Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana, for July 8, 1863.
Present for duty.
Command. Office Men. Effectiv Aggregate Aggregat
rs. e total. present. e
Breckinridge' 154 1,830 1,766 2,231 2,436
Helm's 165 1,780 1,733 2,095 2,963
Stovall's 139 1,604 1,586 2,026 3,197
Total 458 5,214 5,085 6,352 9,596
Loring's 203 1,950 1,691 2,156 3,638
Buford's 275 2,250 2,207 2,940 5,319
Featherston's 145 1,710 1,922 2,478 4,641
Reserve 9 155 151 186 254
Total 632 6,065 5,971 7,760 13,852
RICHMOND, July 9, 1863.
General JOSEPH E. Johnston:
Your dispatch in relation to the garrison of Vicksburg received. Have complete lists sent in promptly, that the exchange may be made without delay, and the troops returned to duty.
HEADQUARTERS IN THE FIELD, July 9, 1863.
An insolent foe, flushed with hope by his recent successes at Vicksburg, confronts you, threatening the people, whose homes and liberties you are here to protect, with plunder and conquest. Their guns may even now be heard at intervals as they advance.
This enemy it is at once the MISSION and duty of you brave men to chastise and expel from the soil of Mississippi.
The commanding general confidently relies on you to sustain this pledge he makes in advance, and will be with you in your good work unto the end.