RIVER DEFENSES, C. S. GUNBOAT WARRIOR, Fort Jackson, La., April 21, 1862.
SIR: I am in receipt of an order from Major General M. Lovell, dated 20th instant, in which I am directed to place myself and my whole command at this point under your orders.
Every officer and man on the river defense expedition joined it with the condition that it was to be independent of the Navy, and that it would not be governed by the regulations of the Navy or be commanded by naval officers. In the face of the enemy I will not say more.
I will co-operate with you and do nothing without your approbation, and will endeavor to carry out your wishes to the best of my ability, but in my own way as to details and the handling of my boats; but I expect the vessels under my charge to remain as a separate command. All orders for their movements addressed to me will be promptly executed if practicable, and I undertake to be responsible for their efficiency when required.
I suppose this is all that is intended by the order of Major-General Lovell or that will be expected from me by you.
Respectfully, yours, &c.,
JNO. A. STEPHENSON,
Senior Captain, Commanding River Fleet at Fort Jackson, La.
Commander J. K. MITCHELL,
C. S. Navy.
P. S.-Our signals should be made to assimilate at once. Captain Renshaw and myself could arrange this if you wish, as no doubt you are greatly fatigued and still have much to do and arrange. Anything I can do, rely on its being done promptly and cheerfully.
J. A. S.
FORT JACKSON, LA., April 23, 1862.
CAPTAIN: The enemy has just sent up a small boat and planted a series of white flags on the Fort Saint Philip side, commencing about 350 yards above the lone tree. It is the probable position of his ships in the new line of attack, which in my opinion he contemplates for attacking Fort Jackson with his large vessels. As you may not have seen this operation, I furnish you with the information.
Please keep the river well lit up with fire rafts to-night, as the attack may be made at any time.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. K. DUNCAN,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Coast Defenses.
Captain J. K. MITCHELL,
Commanding Naval Forces Lower Mississippi River.
FORT JACKSON, LA., April 24, 1862-3.30 a. m.
CAPTAIN: As I anticipated and informed you yesterday, the enemy are taking up their position at the present moment with their large