U. S. STEAMER ONEIDA,
Below Vicksburg, Miss., May 22, 1862.
L. LINDSAY, ESQ.,
Mayor of the City of Vicksburg:
SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of yesterday evening, and in reply have to state that my communication of yesterday in relation to the removal of the women and children was for the purpose of placing it at my option to fire or not, as I might think proper, at the earlier moment upon the defenses of the town without producing a loss of innocent life, and to that determination I shall adhere.
S. PHILLIPS LEE,
Commanding Advance of Naval Division.
No. 2. Reports of Major General Earl Van Dorn, C. S. Army, commanding District of Mississippi, of operations at Vicksburg and Baton Rouge, June 27-August 6 (including destruction of the Arkansas), with congratulatory orders.
VICKSBURG, MISS., June 28, 1862
Bombardment heavy yesterday and this morning. No flinching. Houses perforated; none burnt yet. Contest will commence when enemy attempt to land; he will probably try it. Crippled several boats. They only amuse or men by firing on them occasionally. There are about forty vessels of war and mortar-boats, all sound and fury and to brave men contemptible. Will keep you advised.
EARL VAN DORN,
JACKSON, MISS., August 7, 1862
Arkansas ordered to co-operate with General Breckinridge. Broke machinery 5 miles above Baton Rouge. On way down was attacked by enemy. In this condition fought well, inflicting great damage to gunboats, and was then blown up by crew, all of whom escaped; so reported. Breckinridge drove the enemy from town to cover of boats. Burnt camp and large amount of stores. Captured some prisoners and several colors. Was reduced one-half by sickness since left Vicksburg. General Clark mortally wounded. General Thomas Williams, commanding enemy's troops, and several other prominent officers, killed. Sending re-enforcements to break up garrison entirely. Breckinridge in camp 10 miles from Baton Rouge.
EARL VAN DORN,
SECRETARY OF WAR.
Read with deep regret for loss of Arkansas, but joy at the success of our troops, and hope that it will be made complete.