Arkansas than I had hoped. Ten days is spoken of as the time within which it may be possible to raise steam. The armament is quite out of the question, as to getting it ready within that time. Workmen are needed; 25 carpenters, 5 machinists immediately. Difficulty seems to exist as to men working or submitting to proper control. If you could send me 20 armed volunteers, with a lieutenant, to Yazoo City, to act under my orders, to might be well. I will move the vessel to Yazoo City to-morrow, where greater facilities exist for getting work done. The iron lost in the barge is being recovered by the help of the diving-bel.
Captain Shirley told me that the machinery upon which he depended for fitting the iron at Memphis had been ordered away from there by the Government. Will it be well to take up the Arkansas to Memphis under the circumstances or to risk the vessel on the river without steam?
I am detaining the boat while writing these unsatisfactory details. I foresee that I too will come in in due time for blame when the Arkansas shall still remain unready. I will do all that I can in the mean time.
I remain, very respectfully,
ISAAC N. BROWN,
Lieutenant, C. S. Navy.
VICKSBURG, June 1, 1862. (Received June 2.)
Can't send troops away from here just now. Organize spies and keep me advised.
Act for the best until I can come to you with aid.
EARL VAN DORN,
Opelousas, June 2, 1862.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of the Confederate States:
DEAR SIR: Owing to the delay, difficulty, and risk of communication between the War Department and those living on this side of the Mississippi, I have authorized suitable persons to enroll companies of Partisan Rangers, in accordance with the act of Congress, hoping thereby to get several companies promptly into service, and confidently believing that my action will be ratified when the officers who form companies under my order are reported to Your Excellency. I inclose herewith a copy of that order.
The urgent need of a defensive force admitted of no delay. For an applicant to forward a request to the general commanding this department, to be sent thence to the Secretary of War and a permission to be returned, would consume more than a month. When the head of the proposed department west of the Mississippi shall enter upon his command I shall only recommend applications to him, to be reported to the Secretary of War.
These partisan corps, although destined chiefly for State defense, will be subject to the control and entitled to the support of the Confederate