astrous. Immediate relief is invoked. Captain Mullet recommends that the 42-pounder be placed at Port Hundson. Let me have him and the gun at that point. Answer.
VICKSBURG, MISS., July 15, 1862.
(Received July 16.)
Will send you men if possible. Will let you know in a day or two. Steamer Arkansas came out this morning; made two enemy's boats strike colors; ran the gauntlet of the upper fleet of twelve vessels of war, and is now safe under our guns. Will attack below as soon as some repairs are made.
EARL VAN DORN.
MONROE, LA., July 17, 1862.
Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I arrived here on the 12th instant after much difficulty. The communication across the Mississippi River is almost entirely cut off. I crossed at midnight in a skiff. Of course we are without news from the east but at intervals. On my arrival I found General Roane in command here by order of General Hindman, and as General Roane is junior to me, it makes it embarrassing and inconvenient. Everything is in trouble here. The conscripts are not here. I have issued orders for them to come in, but it will be weeks before they will all be here. There are no more arms to be had. The country is exhausted of them. These seizure of those armed by the State of Louisiana by the Confederate officers in Mississippi is having a bad effect. The volunteer troops (two regiments and one battalion of six companies) are only partially provided with shot-guns. There is no cavalry. The Texas cavalry has been ordered to Arkansas. There is no preparations for defending the many navigable streams of Louisiana, and no artillery, either siege or field. The Yankees have the country where they wish, as the people do not resist their marauding parties. I inclose herewith some orders of General Hindman, which seem to me to be illegal, as I see no law for paragraphs VII, VIII, or X. Has General Hindman any control over me as superintendent of the conscripts of Louisiana, and can he order them where he pleases? I beg an answer to these questions. The State of Louisiana west of the Mississippi River is divided into two military districts. That portion north of Red River is commanded by Brigadier-General Roane. That portion south of Red River is said to be under General P. O. Herbert. You can see at once how unpleasantly I am situated. I have no news of General Magruder's arrival on this side of the Mississippi River. Our communication by mail is entirely stopped. We send letters by such chances as offer. I hope that sufficient funds will be sent to the several departments here, as the people are unwilling to sell without the cash, and impressment is to be avoided if possible. There are salines about 40 miles from this which are very rich. The Government ought ot work them. It is all-important to prevent the speculators from skinning us too much.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. G. BLANCHARD,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army C. S.