schooners has two 32-pounders and one mortar and the other two 32-pounders and one 20-pounder Parrott. The guns are supposed by Major Irvine to be rifled. They have each 50 men on board. If the enemy intends to keep the two schooners permanently inside of the bay it will become impossible for our vessels to run out. If so, I submit to your consideration whether it would not be advisable to throw obstructions at the mouths of the Sabine and Nechez, to prevent the enemy from using them for carrying on his depredatory expeditions.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Jackson, Miss., September 30, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I have had the honor to receive a moment since yours of September 23, and proceed to reply:
You say that Major-General Taylor has already been assigned by the President to the vary responsible duties referred to therein. To this I reply that this is the first information or intimation from any source whatever I have received on the subject. Major-General Taylor having been assigned to the Trant-Mississippi command, and this not being within his military jurisdiction, I have had no personal and but little official intercourse with him, none touching the plan which I had the honor to submit. You further say, "the Secretary is at a loss to understand why Brigadier-General Ruggles, who commands the District of Mississippi, should propose to interfere with the authority vested in Major-General Taylor." To this I reply that on or about the 26th day of June last I was assigned to the command of East Louisiana, it being District No. 1 of the four sub-districts comprised within the District of the Mississippi, commanded by Major-General Van Dorn. District No. 1 embraces all the part of Louisiana lying east of the Mississippi River, within which the city of New Orleans is located. About the 1st of the current month I was transferred from the command of the Sub-District No. 1 to the command of the District of the Mississippi, comprising the four sub-districts, without change of limits. The honorable Secretary of War will probably perceive that so far from my having transgressed the proper limits of my military duties I have been prompt in meeting their supposed obligations, and that if there has been any violations of official courtesy it has not been on my part. The city of New Orleans being within the District of the Mississippi comes within my jurisdiction, and not within that of Major-General Taylor, of the Trans-Mississippi District, who, I am now of the first time informed, has been assigned by the President to the very responsible duty referred to. The telegram sent by me amounted at most to a suggestion, and if the agents are disloyal the plans of the Government are at their mercy.
These plain facts ought to have protected me from the reproach conveyed in the Secretary's letter, and I now submit that his sense of justice should induce its prompt recall.
I cannot permit myself to close my reply to this communication without expressing my ardent desire to meet the expectations of the Government in this great was and to satisfy the zealous prompting of a whole life passed in my country's service.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
52 R R-VOL XV