no batteries can stop the passage of steamers, unless their headway can be checked while they are held under fire. I shall go to Vicksburg tomorrow, to lay out our fortifications and to make an estimate of the number of negroes it will take to finish them. I feel confident that a large force will descend the Mississippi, if one is moved up the Tennessee River, as soon as the latter succeeds in reaching a proper point for debarking for Memphis. I will fortify Vicksburg and prevent its capture, but I cannot prevent the enemy from burning it and passing it. I can keep them from entering the corporation, but they can shell it form the river and from the Louisiana side. A fort constructed at the bend above would guard the railroad approach to Vicksburg and the interior of your State, and prevent them from cutting a canal and turning the river through the narrow neck between the gelds, which a small army could do in a single day. I believe that their designs will be thwarted turn our very blunders into advantages against our foes; but still I should feel more confident if the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers were closed on the military line between Generals Johnston and Polk; if a fort was opposite above Memphis, and two on the opposite banks of the bend above Vicksburg. This, with obstructions between Forts Saint Philip and Jackson, and all the approaches from the Mississippi Sound, east of the city and above it, similarly guarded, would insure the safety of New Orleans, if we had done strong brigade, with a thousand cavalry and two batteries of horse artillery, about the Bay of Saint Louis and the mouth of Pearl River. I think you greatest immediate danger threatens you from that direction.
With the highest regard for your excellency, and with the deepest regret that I have to differ in opinion with General Lovell, I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief of Ordnance, Mississippi Army.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., December 20, 1861.
SIR: We were getting on finely in re-enlisting the twelve-months' men here, having some 450 in the Ninth Mississippi Regiment and a fair prospect in the First Alabama, a well-instructed body of artillery, when the unfortunate law of bounties and universal suffrage upset everything. Men who were perfectly willing to accept good and competent field officers, especially necessary in artillery, are now torn and tossed about by the intrigues of designing men, seeking heir own advancement or revenge upon others who have made them do their exercise it, but for these demagogues, who are misleading them from anything but pure motives. WE shall still labor to overcome this evil, greater than all others combined, and hope yet to reorganize a part under the old law. In the month we should have secured 5,000 of the 6,000 twelve-months' men here. Now if we get 2,000 we shall do well. Our best field officers are certainly sacrificed; a poor reward for past faithful services. They would have