Mobile, November 14, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report my arrival here on the 4th instant, though in very bad health from cold and jaundice. I have made an examination of all the works intended for the defense of the place and am taking measures for strengthening them.
The time allowed for this is not likely to be very long, and the means available in anchors and chains for rafts and in iron for general use is extremely limited.
I propose, however, to make every effort to obstruct the channels, so as to detain the enemy under the fire of Forts Morgan and Gaines, and also at the batteries near the city should the outer line be broken through.
The land defenses around the city are as yet incomplete and weak, but are being pressed forward to completion, and those already built will be strengthened as opportunity may offer.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General and Major of Engineers.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WESTERN LOUISIANA,
Alexandria, La., November 17, 1862.
(Received at Richmond, Va., December 11.)
Brigadier General M. L. SMITH,
Comdg. Confederate States Forces at Vicksburg, Miss.:
GENERAL: In the absence of Major-General Taylor I have the honor to inform you that I received to-day, through General Blanchard, your letter of the 9th instant, with accompanying copy of telegraphic dispatch from the Secretary of War, relative to certain Government cloths that were at this point in transitu for the east. In view of the great need for clothing among the troops here General Taylor retained a sufficient quantity of the cloth to serve about 6,000 men, and the greater portion of this has already been distributed. Under the impression that the cloth was in Texas, General Holmes issued an order to General Hebert to forward immediately to Arkansas all that he did not himself require, with further instructions that if the cloth had left Texas to send an agent after it, and if overtaken anywhere west of the Mississippi River to send it all to Arkansas. This order reached here before Captain Sharkey succeeded in shipping the cloth, and consequently it was turned over to one of General Hebert's quartermasters, who was here at the time (Major Moise), who (by order of General Hebert issued to the agent in search of the cloth) sent 100 bales of it back to Texas, the remainder to Arkansas. I have forwarded to Major General Holmes a copy of your letter, with the dispatch of the Secretary of War; also to Brigadier-General Hebert.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,