War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0149 Chapter XXXVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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The rebels are straining every nerve to hold their position at Fort Pemberton, and every reconnaissance I make is answered by the construction of additional field works. I do not doubt of our success here, unless the gunboat fleet withdraws on the 1st proximo, as is now threatened.

I am, general, very respectfully, &c.,

I. F. QUINBY.

SPECIAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. THIRD DIV., SEVENTEENTH A. C. Numbers 51.

Vista Plantation, La., March 27, 1863.

I. An official report having been made by Colonel M. D. Leggett, in compliance with Special Orders, Numbers 50, from these headquarters, of the amount of damage done by the burning and destroying of a certain mill, cotton-gin, and other property, a portion of which was subject to confiscation, and of right should belong to the Government (being the property of one William Sutton, a disloyal man), by persons belonging to his command, and it appearing from said official report that the damage amounted to the sum of $2,000, it is hereby ordered that sum shall be assessed by him at once, to be placed on the next muster-rolls against the officers and men of his command, and be received by some officer whom he shall designate, and be turned over to the assistant quartermaster of this DIVISION, for the use of the Government, excepting $100, which shall be paid to P. L. Ward, a loyal citizen of Illinois, in compensation of cotton-seed consumed by the fire, as shown by his report. Colonel Leggett is authorized and required to exempt such regiments as were found to have had no part in the action, and also such officers and men of regiments engaged who were absent at the time, sick, or with other proper leave.

II. Brigade commanders will cause this order to be read at the head of each regiment of their commands.

By order of Brigadier General John A. Logan:

R. R. TOWNES,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tenn., March 27, 1863.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States:

SIR: I avail myself of the fact that Mr. Leatherman, a prominent citizen of Memphis, is about to visit Washington, to lay before the Commander-in-Chief the serious difficulties which embarrass the citizens of this region, as well as the army, in relation to negroes. There are within the limits of my command about 5,000 negroes, male and female, of all ages, supported by the Government, independent of those regularly organized and employed as teamsters, cooks, pioneers, &c., and enrolled as such. Most of these, says, from two-thirds to three-fourths, are women and children, incapable of army labor-a weight and incumbrance. In addition, there is a very large number, not less in Memphis alone than 2,000, not supported by the Government, crowded into all vacant sheds and houses, living by begging or vice, the victims of fruitful sources of contagion and pestilence. Pilfering and small crimes are of daily occurrence among them, and I see nothing before them but disease and death. At the same time many valuable farms and plantations within our lines, despoiled of fences from the necessi-