Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/580

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99
CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

which he estimated at a million and a half dollars. Grant reported the loss at $400,000 in property and 1,500 men taken prisoners. He at once fell back to Holly Springs and occupied the line of the Tallahatchie, abandoning the plan of advancing between the Big Black and Yazoo to meet Sherman on the latter river. Van Dorn also attacked Davis’ Mill, but without so much success. About the same time a Federal raid had been made from Corinth down the Mobile & Ohio railroad as far as Tupelo, and the forces made an ineffectual effort to check Van Dorn at Pontotoc.

Early in December President Davis visited Chattanooga, where Johnston’s headquarters were, and going on to Murfreesboro, consulted with General Bragg regarding the reinforcement of Vicksburg. On his return to Chattanooga he ordered General Johnston to detach 10,000 men under Gen. C. L. Stevenson to report at Vicksburg. The President and General Johnston then visited Mississippi together, and reaching Jackson on December 19th found the legislature in session, it having been called together by Governor Pettus to bring out the remaining militia resources of the State. Mr. Davis and General Johnston and staff next visited Vicksburg, where on December 21st and 22d they inspected its defenses. While there Generals Johnston and Smith agreed upon an estimate of the additional force needed for the defense of the department and Vicksburg, and on December 22d General Johnston addressed a letter to Mr. Davis inclosing General Smith’s letter (of estimates) to him.

In this letter among other things, General Johnston said, "Our great object is to hold the Mississippi. The country beyond the Mississippi is as much interested in that object as this, and the loss to us of the Mississippi involves that of the country beyond it. The 8,000 or 10,000 men which are essential to safety ought therefore, I respectfully suggest, to be taken from Arkansas, to re-