left there 10 o'clock yesterday morning. Learned the enemy had only been below the junction of Coldwater and Pass a few miles. Fleet returned up the Pass Tuesday, except one tug, Walch, two guns, which is anchored at junction.
About 500 infantry are encamped at Alcorn's, and some 200 cavalry north side of Pass. Rest of enemy's forces gone back to Lake; some think to Helena.
Reliable gentleman just from Memphis say the Federal officers proclaim that they will take Vicksburg by a dash of their gunboats, and transports will land their whole force in front, taking it by storm.
HDQRS. DEPT. MISS. AND E. La., Jackson, March 2, 1863.
Major General R. TAYLOR,
GENERAL: It gives me great pleasure to congratulate you on your brilliant success in capturing first the Queen of the WEST and after in sinking the Indianola. This last boat having been abandoned by your boats, and apprehensive that she might fall into the hands of the enemy, was blown up by order of Major-General Stevenson, in direct command of the troops at Vicksburg. As you are in command of all the operations on Red River, you can do this command as well as myself a great favor if you will take immediate steps to have forwarded all the beef possible, or bacon or salted pork. In this respect, general, no greater service can be done the country than in hurrying forward these supplies, and I wish to impress its vital importance upon you. As to the Grand Duke, Colonel [W. S.] Lovell informs me that he did not take possession of her, but, on the contrary, she was seized and fitted up by your order, and, therefore, I expect that all the expenses of repairs and fitting up will be defrayed out of your department.
J. C. PEMBERTON.
GRENADA, March 3, 1863.
Later and more specific information goes to show that the fixed purpose of the Federals is to attack Vicksburg by gunboats at upper and lower batteries, and, under cover of fog or darkness, to land 50,000 troops in front of the city and storm the works in front. This information comes from a source entirely reliable, who got it directly from high Federal military authority, as a great secret.
DEER CREEK, near FALLS' LANDING, March 3, 1863.
Lieutenant General J. C. PEMBERTON,
GENERAL: Your favors of the 20th and 21st instant [ultimo] were received on the evening of the 25th. I at once dispatched a flag of truce to communicate your instructions, but, up to last night, when I left the river, no gunboats had been about their usual station. If he has not been arrested, as I fear may be the case, I have no doubt of success in the project I explained in my confidential letter. * During the recent
*Of February 15, p. 626.