Large quantities of corn have remained for weeks exposed to the weather; 60,000 bushels, I learn, have spoiled and been condemned.
I would respectfully request such action as will promptly correct and prevent such improvidence.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. B. NORTHROP,
JACKSON, MISS., February 19, 1863.
With consent of Governor Pettus to stop illicit trade, I respectfully ask the suspension of writ of habeas corpus in Jackson; is immediately necessary.
J. C. PEMBERTON.
JACKSON, February 19, 1863.
Major-General STEVENSON, Vicksburg:
I have ordered the Point Coupee Battery to Snyder's Mill. Let the guns go without the horses; they can follow.
J. C. PEMBERTON.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., February 20, 1863.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
SIR: I am at a loss to conjecture what further powers are desired for General Pemberton. He has been expressly authorized by letter [known, from a telegram since, to have been received by him] to take all measures necessary to stop illicit trade in his department, and I have carefully, since your return, abstained from making any contracts contemplating trade or deliveries in Mississippi or on the lakes. The habeas corpus cannot, of course, be suspended, as Congress has been in session more than thirty days without legislation on the subject. A military prohibition threatening confiscation might effect the desired end. The Department has not been in the habit of confiscating goods seized by the military authorities for violations of military police, but has only used the occasion to seize such of the goods as were needed for the army, at moderate valuations of the revenue laws. Such threats of confiscation should come from the general of the department, as it must rest for its sanction not on law but military necessity.
The alleged purpose of the enemy to cut a canal from Lake Providence to the Tensas is practicable and dangerous. It is not, however, their best scheme, which would be to cut, at Ashton, La., a canal from the river to the Macon Bayou. The distance is only 2 miles, and just there the current rushes with great force against the bank. I have always favored such an effort. Measures should be taken at once, if it be practicable for our forces to reach the points, to obstruct both the Tensas and the Macon. I will telegraph and write General [E. K.] Smith to that effect, if you approve. Both steams, with a little time, could be readily barricaded with felled trees. The difficulty, I fear, will be to maintain r with the enemy so near in command of all the country in front. I rejoice to hear you have felt well enough to venture out this fine day, but venture the liberty of urging that you should not prematurely task yourself with your usual labors.
Most cordially, yours,
J. A. SEDDON.