ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, Richmond, November 19, 1862.
General BRAXTON BRAGG,
General Pemberton telegraphed on the 19th that twelve transports with three gunboats loaded with troops passed Fair's Point on the 17th, supposed for Vicksburg. Large numbers of troops are reported to have left Helena by transports, and artillery and cavalry moving down the river by land. He asks for re-enforcements at once. General Pemberton is under your command, and you must do what in your judgment is necessary to save Vicksburg from capture.
General Holmes has been requested to send 10,000 men to Vicksburg it they can be spared for that purpose.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
OFFICE CHIEF OF SUB., DEPT. OF MISS. AND EAST LA., Jackson, Miss., November 19, 1862.
Major T. B. REED,
SIR: As the season of the year is approaching rapidly when we can but expect a rise in the waters of the Mississippi River, and with it the approach of the enemy, I deem it a matter of the greatest importance to purchase all the stores that can be had in that section of country most likely to be subject to the raids of the enemy. In view of this fact I now have my agents purchasing corn, meal, pease, and potatoes in the parishes west of and lying on the west bank of the Mississippi River. But pressed as I am with the duties of my office I am unable to give to this matter that personal attention which its importance justly entitles it to. Hence I have to ask your aid and assistance to enable me to fully carry out my object. You are therefore hereby fully authorized to take the full supervising control of the matter, subject to such orders and instructions as you may from time to time receive from me. I will direct all my agents to report to you, that you may be fully advised of their acts, &c.
I am informed that a number of mills can be procured in that section. I wish them to be immediately put to work; that the meal obtained from them be shipped to Port Hudson and Vicksburg for immediate use, so as to enable us to retain the corn for future use; from these mills an abundant supply of meal can be obtained. The command at Port Hudson requires about 8,000 bushels per month, which you will cause to be shipped to them by steamboats. You will see that ample transportation is had both to get these stores up the river to Vicksburg, and when it arrives see that they are at once unloaded. To facilitate this matter you had better call on the quartermaster to have wagons, &c., ready, as I am informed that he is not property supplied, and that drays are employed at very high rates. I will send to Vicksburg an agent to aid you in the shipment of these stores. I also it advisable that all stores that can be procured from North Louisiana be also purchased before our communication with that section is interrupted. To accom- plish this I will send an agent or agents to that section of which I will advise you.
You can but see, major, the greatest importance in obtaining stores from the west bank of the river before it is too late; hence it is needless in me to urge you great exertions to obtain them. I therefore