The results of the enterprise would afford details for a book. The value of success in the matter is incalculable. A failure to hold it will be productive of the widest disaster and distress.
I wish to say that the place is not sufficiently defended; that is, there are not men enough to make the tenure of the place anything like sure. Independent of other and large considerations, we have a large or are collecting a large amount of ordnance and ordnance stores here, and there are only abut 1,200 men to defend the place in the event of an attack by land, which is imminent at any moment, unless Butler's spies are all asleep or he himself is a coward. He can land an overwhelming force within 3 miles of the point in ten hours from New Orleans, and re-enforcements could not reach us under forty-eighth hours. I have no doubt that General Ruggles is fully apprised of the inadequacy of the means under his control to hold Port Hudson and Vicksburg. There cannot be over 6,000 men in the department, and any re-enforcement to this point must be drawn from Vicksburg, and could not reach here in time to grapple with an attack which can be conceived and executed in twenty-four hours. Light batteries have been stationed at Troth's house, 3 miles below, to prevent a landing, but this can be effected below, between the lake and river and out of the range of the pieces, and we have taught them lessons in taking light batteries which they might readily put into practice.
Permit me to suggest, very respectfully and very earnestly, that there should be a force of at least 10,000 men kept at or within striking distance of this place all the time. The loss of this position would be disastrous and shameful to the last degree; and I do assure you that it is momentarily exposed to the contingency of capture unless defended by a stronger force. A force of 10,000 men could not on any field be employed more usefully than in holding this position, and in my judgment they would see service under fire as often as any troops in our armies.
If there are any useful suggestions in this desultory note I shall be truly glad, as there can be no doubt of the magnitude and importance of the subject.
I have the honor to be, very truly, your obedient servant,
P. POND, JR.
Respectfully referred to Major-General Pemberton, at Jackson, Miss.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
DIST. OF THE MISS., ASST. ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Jackson, Miss., September 22, 1862.
Brigadier General M. L. SMITH,
Commanding Second Sub-District:
SIR: The brigadier-general commanding directs that you take immediate measures to establish a four-gun battery at the bend of the river above Vicksburg, so as to sweep the reach above. It will be necessary to raise it some fleet above the bottom level. He also direct that the light-draught steamers in the Yazoo be sent as soon as practicable into the waters of the Red River for transport service. He also directs that then the raft in the Yazoo River at Liverpool be repaired thoroughly, so as to impede the navigation of the river. He also directs that an