all Union leaders who circulate exaggerated reports of the military draft, and thereby induce ignorant men to fly their homes and go to Kentucky.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. L. CLAY,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Corinth, Miss., April 21, 1862.
Captain D. B. HARRIS,
Chief Engineer, Vicksburg, Miss.:
CAPTAIN: Understanding that there are no points sufficiently high on the river between Memphis and Vicksburg which could be fortified for the defense of the Mississippi, I have concluded to construct some defensive works on the bluffs at or about Vicksburg, for which purpose you will make a careful reconnaissance of that locality. From what I am told, I should think the bluffs immediately above that city, not far from where a small stream empties into the river, would be a proper point for said works, provided it is not commanded by surrounding heights within 2 miles. A lower battery, with four or five guns, might be so located as to defend the entrance of the Yazoo River and the small stream above mentioned, provided said battery can be protected by the guns of the upper work; otherwise the entrances into these two branches of the Mississippi must be obstructed by rafts, piling, or otherwise.
Another important consideration is that the peninsula opposite Vicksburg should not be susceptible of being canaled across from the river above to the river below, for the passage of the enemy's boats, beyond the reach of the guns of the fort.
Should the locality admit of such a canal beyond range of said guns, another inclosed battery of four or five guns will have to be constructed below Vicksburg, to command the ground over which said canal might be made.
The plans and profiles of these works must be left to your own judgment and to the nature of the ground on which they are to be located. Their armament will consist of ten or twelve 8-inch and 10-inch guns; fifteen 42-pounders; three 24-pounders, and several mortars, with a dozen field rifle guns and half a dozen 24-pounder howitzers, those being all the guns we can spare at present for the defense of the river at that point. The total garrison will consist of about 3,000 men. There should be ample space in those works for magazines, traverses in every direction, field bomb-proofs, a store-house, and cisterns.
Acting Captains John M. Reid and --- Patterson, also Actg. Lieutenant John H. Reid, have been ordered to report to you for the construction of these works. The two Reids (father and son) I am well acquainted with, and they were for years employed by me in the construction of my forts in Louisiana. They are very reliable, practical men, and will be of much assistance to you. The other gentleman I am not personally acquainted with.
Colonel Autry, military commander of Vicksburg, has been ordered to afford you all the assistance in his power in the collection of men and materials for the construction of said works. About 1,000 negroes have been ordered to report to you, with their tools, &c., immediately,