WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., March 28, 1863.
Lieutenant General J. C. PEMBERTON,
Comdg., Jackson, MISS.:
GENERAL: The correspondence between General Stevenson and Admiral Porter, resulting from the capture of the Indianola, was submitted to the President, and has been returned by him with an indorsement, of which I inclose, a copy for your guidance in any future correspondence. *
Your obedient servant,
J. A. SEDDON.
MARCH 21, 1863.
SECRETARY OF WAR:
Read and returned. The misstatements and evasions of the naval commander do not appear to have been exposed and brought out with such distinctness as would seem to have been practicable, and he presents by his showing a defense to which he cannot be entitled. When the river's banks are marked by burned houses and devastated estates, it is mockery to proclaim a purpose to abstain from injury to private property; and when the river is the enemy's line of communication upon which both his supplies and troops are transported, it was worse than idle to prevent the use of unarmed boats as dedicated to humane and charitable purposes. The enemy have no plausible pretext for objecting to the dress of our troops. They may not be in uniform, may have no other than citizen's dress, without in any degree subjecting themselves to the charge of being disguised. To avail themselves of cover, and thus to effect a surprise, is the ordinary and recognized practice of war. The reports we have, even through the Northern papers, show why their boats land at plantations, and it is to be regretted that they have so often plundered with impunity. To destroy their transportation and to capture their foraging parties is the fit service of partisan corps, and the enemy's epithets cannot deprive them of the rights of prisoners of war if captured or change the nature of their acts. When or where could be allege the crimes named were committed by men in our service?
J. D. [JEFFERSON DAVIS.]
Vicksburg, March 29, 1863.
Major General C. L. STEVENSON:
GENERAL: Send General Featherston with his command direct to Fort Pemberton, to report to General Loring. See that he is provided with sufficient ammunition. The lieutenant-general does not wish more than six guns sent to General Loring, and if the battery is taken from Snyder's Mill, it must be replaced. That place must be kept strong. Has not General Moore at least one field battery with him?
By order of Lieutenant-General Pemberton:
TULLAHOMA, [TENN.], March 30, 1863.
Comdg. DEPT. Of MISS. and E. La.:
The complaints sent through your office relating to Colonel R. V. Richardson, who received authority from the War Department to organize
*See Stevenson to Grant, February 24, p. 66; Porter to Stevenson, March 2, p. 77; and Seddon to Pemberton, March 20, p. 679.