use of the former, which is navigable until May, and establish a base of operations on the river by means of his boats. I learn also that he is repairing the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad, having abandoned all roads north. This may be an indication of his intention only to draw supplies from Northwestern Mississippi, but it also affords him a means of rapidly concentrating his troops from Middle and WEST Tennessee for operations against Vicksburg when the roads become practicable. Should he continue his threatening attitude against Vicksburg and Port Hudson by the Mississippi River, and move a heavy force by land from the base supposed, unless greatly re-enforced in infantry I shall need all the cavalry force withdrawn from this department, under General Van Dorn, to cut his communication. The enemy is now using every effort to get possession of Vicksburg. He is in large force on Deer Creek and on the Tallahatchee, and this morning endeavored to pass two more of his boats by our batteries at Vicksburg. One was sunk with all on board; the other got by, and is now lying at the mouth of the canal, supposed by General Stevenson to be disabled. Three of their vessels are, therefore, now between Vicksburg and Grand Gulf [where I have established a battery of five heavy guns]. The work on canal seems for the present to be abandoned.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. C. PEMBERTON.
GRAND GULF, March 25, 1863.
Lieutenant-General PEMBERTON, Jackson:
Two to four more guns much needed for our batteries. The navy carriages are very cumbrous. If possible, send two chassis carriages for 42-pounders, and one 8-inch columbiad carriage and chassis.
Can we get some tarpaulins?
JNO. S. BOWEN.
GRENADA, March 25, 1863.
The volunteers from Vaiden are too few to send. Why may not the whole regiment at that place be sent to Fort Pemberton? I sent off this evening 70 men from my command here to Tallahatchee River, under a competent officer, and have hopes that something will be done.
J. Z. GEORGE.
JACKSON, March 25, 1863.
Fort Pemberton [via Grenada, 10 a. m.]:
It is utterly impossible to give you 5,000 more men, or anything approaching. Neither can I, at this time, send you any more heavy guns. I told you long since that I have not the means of defending both Fort Pemberton and Yazoo City. You have had full authority given you as to the disposition of [J. C.] Moore's brigade and the guns at Yazoo City. You have also Tilghman's and all the cavalry at your disposal. If Fort Pemberton is now passed, no serious defense can be made at Yazoo City. We must look to a return of the troops to Vicksburg for its immediate defense. I yesterday told Stevenson that if he was satisfied the enemy was withdrawing from Vicksburg, that he had better send
44 R R-VOL. XXIV, PT. III