RICHMOND, February 3, 1863.
General E. KIRBY SMITH, Jackson, MISS.:
Arrange, if you can, with General Pemberton for the exchange of General Price and his command for troops under your command to the WEST of the Mississippi. It is desired that General Price and his command should be transferred as soon as may be, consistently with the safety of General Pemberton's command.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
NATCHEZ, February 3, 1863.
GENERAL: Your telegram of yesterday was received by me at 8. 05 a. m. I immediately forwarded a copy by Government courier to General Taylor's headquarters, and also sent a special courier to mouth of Red River. This courier arrived at that point before dark last evening, and returned at noon to-day. He succeeded in stopping every boat that was coming up, to wit: the Eleanor, Red Chief, and Era Number 2. The latter steamed safely up Red River with the information.
The Conestoga landed at Vidalia last night at 10. 15, searched the village, and fired 2 rifle-shots at Colonel Z. York, Fourteenth Louisiana, but he escaped unhurt. She left Union Point, 40 miles below here, at daylight this morning, bound down.
ALEX. C. FERGUSON.
Vicksburg, February 3, 1863.
Major General MARTIN L. SMITH, Vicksburg:
GENERAL: The transportation master at this post, Captain W. M. Jones, has informed me that the two Government boats, Charm and Paul Jones, had returned from Saint Joseph, where they had been sent by his order for Government corn, but brought nothing.
I addressed Captain Jones on the 10th, 17th, and 21st instant [ultimo], urging him to furnish transportation to this place for large quantities of corn bought by the Government, and accumulated at various landings along the river, both above and below Saint Joseph. I enumerated these landings, and informed him that Government agents at Saint Joseph and Waterproof, La., were instructed to go with boats that would report to them and show these lots of corn. I repeatedly urged him to furnish transportation as quickly as possible, telling him that these stores, in the aggregate some 30,000 bushels, were, from exposure to rains, in a damaging condition. I am now informed that the boats were ordered to Saint Joseph, and that, as no corn was found at that point, they returned empty.
W. H. Johnson,
Special Government Agent.
TULLAHOMA, February 4, 1863.
Lieutenant-General PEMBERTON, Vicksburg, MISS.:
Your dispatch of February I just received; * orders given. What do you suppose enemy designs, and can you resist them?
J. E. Johnston.