HDQRS. DEPT. OF MISSISSIPPI AND EAST LOUISIANA,
Jackson, Miss., November 13, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General:
GENERAL: The honorable Secretary of War informed me by telegraph under date 28th October that I was authorized to detain seven regiments unarmed Texans which had been ordered to General Lee, and also that arms were being sent me. Up to this date I have heard nothing further of either the troops or arms. I am greatly in need of both. In fact, I have now early 5,000 unarmed men. About this number of muskets needing repairs (at present unserviceable) are at Briarsfield Arsenal, Columbus, Miss. I have sent some fifty gunsmiths to expedite their repair, but it will be a long time before they will be available to any considerable extent. Ammunition for small-arms as well as for field artillery is also much needed. I shall be very glad to receive the two 30-pounder Parrott guns and all other heavy guns that can be sent me. Neither Vicksburg nor Port Hudson is as strong as I desire to make them.
It is very important also that some heavy artillery be placed in position at Snyder's Mill, on the Yazoo, where an obstruction is now being arranged. Soon after my arrival here I applied to Chief of Ordnance for twenty siege guns from 12 to 24 pounders for the land defenses of Vicksburg and Port Hudson. In answer Colonel Rhett, Ordnance Department, inquired whether 24-pounder howitzers and 12-pounder bronze guns would answer my purpose; but as I have heard nothing further from him I do not know whether to expect them or not.
This army generally is very deficient in clothing, shoes, and blankets. I am using every exertion to provide them. The process is slow, and in the mean time the men suffer greatly. I should be very glad if some assistance could be rendered from other points in that way.
The ordinary source of supplies for the medical purveyor's department having been interrupted by the execution of my instructions to prevent trade with points in possession of the enemy renders it necessary that other means be employed to provide the medical department. Surgeon Potts, purveyor, proposes to obtain supplies by contract by way of Texas from Mexico, and is confident of his ability to do so. I have approved plan and shall authorize him to carry it out, but in the mean time the small stock in his hands will be inadequate to the demands of this department, and I hope the Purveyor-General may be able to supply deficiencies.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. C. PEMBERTON,
Respectfully referred to Colonel Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance, who, after noting the contents for such action as may be necessary, will please refer it to the Surgeon-General.
By command of the Secretary of War:
JASPER S. WHITING,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War. Attended to.
Colonel Chief of Ordnance.