War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 1047 Chapter XXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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JACKSON, April 20, 1863.

General GARDNER,

Port Hudson, La.:

Bowen reports from Grand Gulf two iron-clads, eight guns each; one iron-clad, nine guns; one iron-clad, ten guns; one iron-clad, eleven guns; one iron-clad, thirteenth usn; one iron-clad, guns unknown; one iron-clad ram, three guns, in iron casemate in front; one small tug, two large transports, and one barge heavily laden. They are 1 miles below New Carthage.

J. C. PEMBERTON,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI,

Alexandria, April 20, 1863. (Received April 22.)

Lieutenant-General PEMBERTON,

Jackson:

General Taylor has fallen back beyond Opelousas before an overwhelming force of the enemy, and is retreating toward Alexandria. There are no troops in this department that can now be sent to operate against McClernand on the west bank of the Mississippi. I hope that you will keep the force at Grand Gulf operating against McClernand as long as possible.

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI,

Alexandria, La., April 20, 1863.

Major General RICHARD TAYLOR,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding desires to express his gratification at the conduct of the troops under your command in the various conflicts of the 11th, 12th, and 14th instant, and his ap precaution of the skill and energy displayed in extricating them from a position of great peril and in presence of an enemy so vastly superior in numbers.

The commanding general also instructs me to say that he would join you at once but for the belief that by this presence here he can serve you more effectively.

As far as knowledge of the country enable shim to judge, he considers the position you have chosen the best that can be occupied. He has written to General Pemberton, informing him of the state of affairs and asking for re-enforcements from Port Hudson. Walker's division from Arkansas and three regiments of Texas troops (now on Red River near Mill Creek) have been ordered down to your support, but it is hoped that the enemy, content with holding the lower country, will not at present make a further advance.

I am, general, very respectfully,

J. F. BELTON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,

Alexandria, La., April 20, 1863.

Brigadier-General SCURRY,

Commanding, Houston, Tex.:

GENERAL: The enemy in large force have driven General Taylor's