we cannot yet raise steam or use the engines. There is a raft across the Yazoo River 25 miles below here, but no force to prevent an enemy from opening it. Two 42s have been mounted on a hill overlooking the raft, but a few infantry could take this battery and turn it against the only gunboat that I have above to defend the rank. Two of the Confederate States gunboats came to the raft day before yesterday, but it was not, under the possible condition of things, through prudent to break the obstructions to let them through. They are now transferring their stores and armament to be used on this side and are then to be sent up the Sunflower River. The commissary stores brought on the Paul Jones are also to be crossed over the raft and brought to Yazoo City.
The ram Van Dorn had not made its appearance at the raft this morning.
I have written to General Lowell at Jackson that a regiment of riflemen would be necessary, with a company of heavy artillery, to defend the raft. A battery of light guns would also be of use.
I am trying all I can to get the Arkansas ready, and I will try to have three more guns mounted at the raft if I can in time.
I am, respectfully, yours,
ISAAC. N. BROWN,
Lieutenant, C. S. Navy.
HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT,
Tupelo, Miss., June 10, 1862.
Major General MANSFIELD LOVELL,
Commanding Department No. 1, Jackson, Miss.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 6th instant has just been received and referred to Dr. A. J. Foard, chief surgeon of the Western Department, for his further guidance.*
With regard to the complaint of Brigadier General M. L. Smith, in which you concur, relieve to the intended evacuation of Fort Pillow not having been communicated to you both, I have to state that this movement was the natural consequence of the retreat from Corinth, as will be the loss of all the Mississippi Valley; a fact long since communicated to you. That retreat was made when compelled to do so by the overpowering numbers of the enemy in our front, having but time to communicate the information even to those around me. I might as well complain of your not having communicated to me your intention to evacuate New Orleans and surrender the forts guarding the river, by which we lost all the cattle in Texas and Western Louisiana intended for this this army. Moreover, it was to be supposed that after the retreat from Corinth you would have ample time to make whatever arrangements your thought necessary to suit the new order of things.+
With regard to Vicksburg, as already stated I regard its fate as sealed. You may defend it for a while to hold the enemy at bay, but it must follow are long the fate of Fort Pillow. The ordnance and materials received from the latter place, and not required at Vicksburg or Grenada, I desire should be sent to Meridian, or, if practicable at this moment, to Columbus, Miss.
* Some matters of detail here omitted.
+ Paragraph here omitted refers to Beauregard's own plans, and is printed in Series I, Vol. XVII, Part II, p. 591, covering operations in Western Tennessee, Northern Mississippi, &c., June 10-January 20, 1863.