War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0075 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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I regret to inform you that he considers the situation of Vicksburg eminently critical. Grant is being heavily re-enforced by Burnside's corps. This, added to his strength of position, renders the condition of Vicksburg, in General Johnston's opinion, almost hopeless. The greatest success he anticipates is the withdrawal of the garrison and its safety, but the difficulties in the way of his accomplishing even this are very great. General Johnston has 25,000 men. Grant has certainly 80,000 and probably 100,000. General Johnston's troops are far from being the best, owing to causes which you may easily conjecture. Grant is intrenched in a naturally strong position, where he ought to whip an attacking force of double his numbers.

To accomplish anything, it is extremely important that General Johnston should communicate with General Pemberton. He receives communications from him by men floating down the river at night, but can get none to him. He requests every effort to be made on this side to that end. He also desires that he may have ready means of communication with you by way of Natchez, to which point the telegraph extends. He suggests no other mode of your rendering him assistance than that already contemplated in your orders to General Walker and Colonel Harrison. General Johnston had news both from General Pemberton and General Gardner up to Saturday, the 14th instant. The former reports some sickness in the garrison, twenty days' provisions, and a want of percussion caps. The latter reports a scarcity of provisions and ammunition.

General Johnston expressed himself highly gratified at your courtesy in sending to him your offer to co-operate with him in any manner he might desire, and requested me to assure you of his high personal regard.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



Shreveport, La., June 22, 1863.

Major General J. B. MAGRUDER, Commanding District of Texas, Houston:

GENERAL: Please find inclosed copies of letters from the Secretary of War, Mr. Slidell, and the French minister of marine.* I am directed by Lieutenant-General Smith to call your attention to this correspondence, and that you will instruct Major Hart to use every means in his power to have the cotton in the vicinity of Matamoras on the arrival of these vessels. The general is of the impression that these vessels are laden with arms, being those contracted for by Colonel Gorgas, Chief of laden with arms, being those contracted for by Colonel Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance, some time since, and hence the importance of every facility offered and means employed to have the cotton ready on their arrival.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.


Houston, Tex., June 22, 1863.

Brigadier General H. P. BEE, Commanding Western Sub-District:

GENERAL: In reply to your communication of June 16, I am instructed by Major-General Magruder to inform you that he cordially


*Not found.