The Confederates knew that Grant would soon cut off the flow of supplies across the Mississippi, and they were stockpiling food in Jackson and Vicksburg in anticipation of a siege.
Vicksburg, April 1, 1863.
Major W. H. DAMERON,
Commissary of Subsistence, Jackson, MISS.:
Yours of 29th ultimo, inclosing copy of the Commissary. General’s letter to you, of 14th ultimo, is at hand.
I assumed charge as chief of subsistence of the district on the 10th of February, but I found the stock of subsistence stores, except sugar and peas, almost exhausted. Since that time I have received from you $50,000, which has been invested chiefly in corn. I have received about 30,000 pounds of bacon, 500 live hogs, 557 barrels of molasses, and large quantities of salt, all of which has been sent over by Colonel Broadwell; there are several hundred hogs now on the way here on this side of the river, and several boats in the river loaded with provisions, also sent forward by Colonel Broadwell. This supply will place the commissariat in better condition, I believe, than it has ever before been in this district. If the Yankee ships can be prevented from cutting off our communication with Eastern Louisiana and Texas, I have but little doubt that the great energy of Colonel Broadwell, with my own exertions here, will soon give us a supply that enable us to stand a six months’ siege.
GEO. L. GILLESPIE.
Major and Commissary of Subsistence, SECOND District.