Two regiments of cavalry are absent, one at Baldwyn and the other east of there. One of these has been ordered here, and will probably be up in three or four days.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Jackson, Miss., October 1, 1862.
Major-General VAN DORN,
Commanding Army in the Field:
GENERAL: I have the honor to state for your information that so far as we have received advices of the enemy's strength and intentions we are bound to consider Vicksburg and Port Hudson both threatened by land as well as by water. The defenses at Vicksburg are of course well known to you, and I need only send you the copy of a letter just received from Brigadier-General Smith* to insure your consideration of the necessity of retaining an adequate force there to meet probable contingencies. It is the current opinion that the enemy has at Helena, Ark., at the least 15,000, and some say 20,000 men. It is reported, however, since writing the above, that General Curtis' army is moving up the Mississippi and that only one division remains. I doubt its correctness. The defenses at Port Hudson are far from completion for the want of guns and ammunition.
There is also difficulty in obtaining the requisite negro labor there as well as at Vicksburg. The 10-inch columbiad from Richmond has reached here without the ammunition, which has been left behind at Mobile. The movements of the enemy along the river border in the vicinity of Helena have, I doubt not, come within your knowledge, and the influence resulting fully appreciated by you. I have found it necessary to call on the Governor of Mississippi for militia, as follows, viz:
A battalion of 200 for service as guards, patrols, &c., at Jackson, Miss.; a regiment at Haines' Bluff, on the Yazoo, to replace other troops allowed by the Governor to return home. A battalion will also concentrate at Woodville, Miss., available at Port Hudson and Natchez.
A regiment is already concentrated at Panola with the prospective increase of a battalion. It is questionable whether the Governor can supply a sufficient militia force to afford substantial aid for defensive operations.
I send this letter by Colonel Sandidge, a member of my staff, to insure its prompt and safe delivery, especially as General Smith's letter ought not to be committed to the mail.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding District.
HEADQUARTERS, October 4, 1862-1 a.m.
General Van Dorn still hears of the enemy leaving Corinth. The general will open with twelve or fourteen guns on the town as soon as
* Not found.