War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0805 Chapter XVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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Pounds.

At Fort Berwick..................................... 1,100

At Fort Chene....................................... 1,100

At Fort Guyon or Bayou La Fourche................... 1,000

At Calcasien Pass................................... 850

In magazine in and around New Orleans...............30,000

Total..............................................116,750

The quarterly returns are coming in slowly, and when received will enable me to report exactly the quantity of powder on hand; but I have caused the above estimate to be made out carefully and am convinced that it will not vary materially from the aggregate of the official returns.

Considering New Orleans to be in condition to resist an attack, I am turning my attention particularly to the coast of Mississippi. I had received no notice of the assignment of General Trimble to my command. If the Third Mississippi Regiment, which was raised mainly on that coast, be returned to me from Columbus, I can provide him with a force sufficient to prevent communication with the enemy and repel predatory parties.

The water communication between here and the eastern portion of this department being somewhat precarious. I have organized trains for supplying the troops to be located in that section by land.

I have ordered an accurate reconnaissance and topographical map to be made of the country between the Jackson Railroad and Mississippi City, which will enable me to select the most defensible positions for General Trimble's command to hold the enemy in check should he attempt to push up to the Jackson Railroad. Meanwhile I have in hand a well-organized movable column (General Ruffles' brigade), of about 5,000 men, including artillery, which I can throw over Lake Pontchartrain at a few hours' notice, to operate against his column should he be foolish enough to attempt such a flank movement.

If, however, he should attempt to land at Pascagoula and strike for Mobile, I could move Trimble's brigade, re-enforced by Ruggles', against his base of operations at Pascagoula, and thus, perhaps, compel an abandonment of the attack. These movements will, of course, depend upon my ability to transport troops and supplies through that section of country by land.

I shall probably have on that coast two batteries, of four guns each, and two mounted companies-all from this city; and if the naval department will give me half a dozen launches to place in Biloxi Bay, Bay Saint Louis, and Pearl River, I think we can obtain all necessary results on that coast. We cannot, of course, prevent an army from landing under cover of their gunboats.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL,

Major-General, Commanding.

NEW ORLEANS, LA., January 13, 1862.

Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN:

A party will contract to deliver here 75 tons of powder, if the advance the money, under bonds satisfactory to me, at 84 cents per pound, specie, or $1.14 in Confederate notes. If approved, notify and enable me to raise the money.

M. LOVELL.