number of troops can be added to our forces under the conscription law now sought to be enforced. You will perceive that, with the great territory which is within my military district and scarcely 2,000 effective men for duty, I cannot spare any large detachments to hunt down and bring to camp the skulking conscripts who seek to evade service.
For the reasons above stated I have ordered the officers named in extract, as above referred to, to return to their regiments in Virginia, as they cannot be assigned to any duty here which will be of benefit to the service or accomplish the object intended by the Department.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
VICKSBURG, MISS., December 30, 1862.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Jackson, Miss.:
In saying, "want all the troops I can get," I mean that if the enemy continues to increase his force, and I have no doubt he will, that all the troops ordered to re-enforce me will be absolutely necessary to insure the safety of Vicksburg and Port Hudson. I cannot entirely abandon Grenada. The heavy rain will relieve the approach from Skipwith's Landing. Have accordingly ordered troops from Vaughan's to Snyder's Mill via Yazoo River, an important position. Relief for men in trenches is necessary; they have been now three days in them. So far we have held all advanced points with very considerable loss to enemy and small to ourselves.
The enemy will strengthen at Baton Rouge. Their strength is 8,000. If necessary, troops can be returned from there. This is the vital point. The enemy is persevering. I desire to work with you.
J. C. PEMBERTON,
MOBILE, December 31, 1862.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:
Guns and ammunition most effective against iron-clads needed at Vicksburg and Port Hudson. Very much depends upon prompt supply.
Abstract from Return of the District of the Lower Rio Grande, commanded by Lieutenant Col. A. Buchel, for December, 1862 (headquarters Fort Brown, Tex.).
Present for duty.
Troops. Officers Men Aggregate Aggregate
Fort Brown, 11 198 227 359
Ringgold 15 355 438 471
Roma 2 22 24 41
Carrizo 2 62 65 81
Laredo 3 56 70 85
Camp Las 4 61 65 65
Total 37 754 889 1,102
Troops. Pieces of Horses Horses un-
field serviceable serviceable
Fort Brown, ... 341 2
Ringgold 6 103 ...
Roma ... ... ...
Carrizo ... ... ...
Laredo ... 88 ...
Camp Las ... ... ...
Total 6 532 2