for these men without interfering with the fitting out of the Keene. General [Colonel T. N.] Waul has advised you of his intended movements. I regret that we have so little time to make preparations, so little, in fact, that I cannot be answerable for what may happen; in other words, I can give no assurance that we shall be able to stop the enemy, as we cannot tell with what amount or description of force he is coming through. We will do all we can.
I am, respectfully,
ISAAC N. BROWN,
Commander, C. S. Navy.
JACKSON, February 17, 1863.
Major-General STEVENSON, Vicksburg:
Have 200 men, good and true, who will volunteer to man gunboats at Yazoo City, sent forward immediately, with proper complement of officers, to report to Captain I. N. Brown. Has the field battery ordered gone forward yet? Send all the troops and ordnance ordered up Yazoo with all dispatch.
J. C. PEMBERTON.
GRENADA, February 17, 1863.
Just returned from Coldwater. The telegram I sent you was information given by a courier sent by Captain Forrest. I can't believe the Yankees have got through our obstructions yet. I shall return with negroes and intrenching tools to-morrow or next day. Can't you send troops and artillery? I believe a cotton-clad boat can take any gunboat they bring down. I shall obstruct and fortify above mouth of Coldwater, if I have time; otherwise across narrow neck between Tallahatchee and Yazoo, 300 yards wide; impregnable position when fortified and Tallahatchee obstructed. Obstructions worthless unsupported by artillery. Meriweather has gone up to sink boats, and do what he can to save time.
Captain and Chief Engineer.
MILLER'S PLANTATION, DEER CREEK, Washington County, February 17, 1863.
Major J. J. REEVE,
MAJOR: Your dispatch of the 12th instant has just come to hand. As the expedition against which you warn me is falling back to the river, I have small scouting parties following them, but my force is too small to venture on an attack.
From a prisoner taken yesterday, I learn that a brigade of infantry, some cavalry, and a battery of artillery, under command of General Burbridge, landed at and a little above Greenville, about 10 a. m., for the purpose of capturing my command. They marched directly by the road over Fish Lake, to Deer Creek, and scattered up and down for a few miles. My command was at the time at Calhoun Hale's place, on Deer Creek, in Bolivar County, from which point I was opening a road to reach the Mississippi, near Catfish Point, opposite the battery on the Arkansas side. The incessant rains will render this route impracticable