formed that all the cotton between there and Vicksburg had already been destroyed by provost-marshals appointed for that purpose. I made it my business to visit most of those marshals, for the reason that I was informed that certain persons had declared their intention to resist their authority. Upon arriving I tendered the services of myself and troops to the marshals to enforce the orders of the general. I in person, with the marshals, visited such persons as were said to be refractory, but found it wholly unnecessary to use force in any case. There were but few planters or persons willing to apply the torch themselves to their own to their own cotton, but pretty generally announced themselves ready and willing to say "amen" to the order of the general.
And now I can report that all the cotton (or at least all we could find) between Randolph (or near that place) and Vicksburg, within a reasonable distance of the river,is burned and destroyed, except a few places (or plantations) in Crittenden County, Arkansas,opposite Memphis, Tenn., to destroy which I have detailed 2 men to act in conjunction with Lieutenants Barton and McGehee, of that county, who were by General Hindman recently appointed to assist in the work. Those men are all reliable and are vigorously executing their duty, with orders to report to me upon completing the work, which report, when made, I will ask leave to file as a supplement to this, to the end that this my report may be full and complete.
In performing this work, in all cases where there was a good road, and the cotton accessible, I went back from the river a distance varying from 5 to 10 miles.
The loss of the use of the two steamers, Era Numbers 6. and Miller, caused it to take us much longer to do the work than was anticipated.
The boats Saint Francis Numbers 3. and the Milton Brown were delivered in good order to the quartermaster at Memphis, Tenn., on the 26th instant.
Hereto attached is the only report I have had from Captain Hill, which is marked A.
The following list will show the names of owners and the number of bales of cotton destroyed by me with the steamer Milton Brown:
* * * * * * * *
Recapitulation. - Total number of bales, 13,612.
O. P. LYLES
Captain Arkansas Volunteers, C. S. Army, Commanding, &c.,
Forwarded June 2, 1862, through General Beauregard, by General Van Dorn to War Department.
COAHOMA CITY, MISS., May 12, 1862
We have run as far as we have wood and think ourselves safe. Our men is all sick. Captain Johnson is very sick. We are not able to get out of the way of the enemy if we were pursued.
The Emma Bet has not got wood to run here, neither can she get any. I thought I would get aboard of Johnson's boat and send this to you.
If you think the Government wants her and you can get wood, you can send her back again to Memphis. If not, let her go to a place of safety.
Them four boats went down released yesterday.
R. S. HILL,