War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0252 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI

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withdraw his troops from the Louisiana shore at the first favorable opportunity. He was also immediately re-enforced by the Sixth Mississippi Regiment, the First Confederate Battalion, and a field battery. On the same day the following telegram was dispatched to General Johnston:

The troops sent you were taken from Port Hudson-a brigade, under Brigadier-General Buford, aggregate present 4,065. The enemy has nine boats between Vicksburg and Port Hudson. He has landed forces at New Carthage from Grant's army, and can re-enforce them to any extent. He can use his nine boats to cross his troops to this side. The arrival of General Lorenzo Thomas has changed the enemy's plans, or his movement up the river was a ruse. I ought to have back Buford's brigade; certainly no more troops should leave this department. A dispatch from Brigadier-General Chalmers yesterday says sixty-four boats left Memphis since Thursday, loaded with soldiers and negroes, ostensibly to assault Vicksburg.

The raft in the Yazoo at Snyder's Mill has given away, and is entirely destroyed. I am, therefore, compelled to strengthen the batteries there at the expense of Vicksburg.

General Stevenson reports that eight boats passed the Bend last night. One was burned and two apparently disabled; the other five escaped uninjured.

Indications of an attack on Vicksburg are so strong that I am not warranted in sending any more troops from this department.

From information received after this dispatch was sent, I learned that eight of the enemy's most formidable gunboats, besides his transports and barges, succeeded in passing safely on the 16th.

I found it a very difficult matter to obtain the necessary hawsers and chains for the raft in the Yazoo, but it was speedily replaced under the active and energetic supervision of Mr. Thomas Weldon.

My request for the return of the troops forwarded to Middle Tennessee to re-enforce General Bragg was immediately complied with. A portion of them, however, had reached Chattanooga; the remainder were halted by telegraph at various points on the route, and the whole were restored to this department as soon as was practicable.

The enemy's vessels of war occupying the river between Vicksburg and Grand Gulf, it was impossible for me to operate effectually in the Trans-Mississippi Department to prevent the advance of the enemy to the WEST bank of the river.

On April 17, therefore, I addressed the following telegraphic communication to Captain E. Powell, assistant quartermaster at Natchez:

Forward the following to Lieutenant-General Smith or Major-General Taylor viz:

"For the want of the necessary transportation, I cannot operate effectually on the WEST bank of the river; the enemy is now in force at New Carthage and Richmond.

I beg your attention to this. "

Captain Powell notified me at once that this dispatch had been forwarded by courier.

On the 18th, I addressed a SECOND communication, through the same medium, as follows:

Lieutenant-General SMITH or Major-General TAYLOR:

The enemy are cutting a passage from near Young's Point to Bayou Vidal, to reach the Mississippi River near New Carthage. Without co-operation it is impossible to oppose him. Inform me what action you intend to take.

To these communications, and to a subsequent one of April 22, I

received no reply until after the capitulation of Vicksburg, when an acknowledgment of the receipt of that of the 22nd, dated May 20, reached me.

On the 19th, reports of raids in Northern Mississippi from several points in Tennessee reached me. All the available cavalry north of the Southern Railroad was at once placed at the disposal of Brigadier-Gen-