I made a demonstration on Bolivar pending the arrival of my trains, and have succeed in withdrawing Ross' division from Corinth. I send Jackson now to cut the railroad between Jackson and Corinth. After doing this he will join me on the enemy's right flank.
Your courier reaches me as I now write. Your telegraph came this morning. I meet you at Ripley on the 28th.
Have you transportation for your exchanged prisoners should they arrive at Baldwyn? I will receive 8,000; you 5,000. I get also Waul's Texas Legion, which will arrive at Holly Springs in a few days. I must send a regiment or two to Port Hudson. We will have accession therefore of about 14,000 men. I now have 7,000. If it becomes necessary to wait it will not be unfortunate, as we are holding a large force in check; later we will defeat them, free West Tennessee, and penetrate Kentucky or cross the Ohio. I do not think it necessary to act hurriedly. On the contrary, a little delay, attacking, as it were, en echelon from Maryland to West Tennessee and Arkansas, seems to me advisable.
If Bragg and Smith are successful the enemy in our front will withdraw. We will follow and re-enforce Bragg. However, it is not necessary here to discuss this. I will meet you at Ripley on the 28th.
In regard to the Governor's dispatch I know of no lost dispatches between us. I am satisfied the enemy know nothing of our intentions, or they would not have re-enforced Bolivar from Corinth. We are in fine spirits and in good health.
Very truly, general, I am, your friend and obedient servant,
EARL VAN DORN,
SPECIAL ORDERS, ADJT. AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, Number 223.
Richmond, Va., September 24, 1862.
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II. Military commanders, of Confederate States forces, as soon as they approach or enter the territory of the United States bordering upon the Mississippi River or the tributaries thereof, will publish proclamations assuring the people of those States, as well as all others interested, of the free navigation of the Mississippi River, in accordance with a resolution adopted by the Confederate States Senate September 12.
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By command of the Secretary of War:
Resolution of the Confederate States Senate, passed September 12, 1862.
Resolved, That the President be and is hereby respectfully requested to direct such of our military commanders as may at the time be in command of the respective columns of our forces as soon as they approach or enter the territory of the United States bordering upon the Mississippi River or the tributaries thereof, to publish proclamations assuring the people of those States, as well as all others interested, of the free navigation of the Mississippi River, according to the provisions of an act of the Provisional Congress, entitled "An act to declare and establish the free navigation of the Mississippi River", approved February 25, 1861; and that said commanders cause to be published copies of said act with such proclamations.