HDQRS. FOURTH MILL. DIST., DEPT., MISS., AND E. La.,
Jackson, March 28, 1863.
Respectfully returned, with the inquiry, Shall Mr. Morris be detained until the return of the lieutenant-general commanding department?
SHREVEPORT, June 5, 1864
His Excellency President JEFFERSON DAVIS:
SIR: General Walker writes me that through General Waul he learns Your Excellency attributes the failure to relieve Vicksburg from this department to his advice.
It is but justice to a gallant and efficient officer that this impression should be removed.
The blame, if it rests anywhere, is with myself and General Taylor, the department and district commanders. General Walker when on the march from Arkansas to Alexandria, asked permission to act with his DIVISION against Grant's communications opposite Vicksburg. Banks in force was at that time pressing General Taylor, and the country east of the Bayou Masson Hills was too much under water to admit of operations.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH.
RICHMOND, VA., August 1, 1863.
General JOSEPH E. Johnston,
SIR: I inclose to you a communication published, as you will observe, in the newspapers.
There is interval evidence that it was written by some one having access to your correspondence, and a copy of a letter written by one of your staff has been exhibited in this city which contains passages so identical with the published communication as to leave little room for doubt as to its origin.
It is needless to say that you are not considered capable of giving countenance to such efforts at laudation of yourself and detraction of others, and the paper is sent to you with the confidence that you will take the proper action in the premises.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant.
MORTON, August 11, 1863.
His Excellency the PRESIDENT, Richmond:
Your letter of the 1st instant and the newspaper article inclosed with it just received. I have neither seen nor heard of it before. My staff officers present know nothing of it. It is clearly based upon information only to be had in my office. It shall be investigated.
J. E. Johnston.