HEADQUARTERS, Snyder's Mill, April 16, 1863.
Major General C. L. STEVENSON,
Comdg. SECOND District, DEPT. of MISS. and East. Louisiana:
GENERAL: I much regret that I have to announce the complete breaking up and destruction of the raft across the Yazoo River at this point. The raft gave away suddenly at 6. 30 this morning. Since my arrival at Snyder's Mill, on the 2nd day of January last, the waters have risen continuously in the Yazoo up to this time. A very large amount of drift and the rafted timber, which last year constituted the obstructions at Liverpool, collected against the raft. Every exertion possible in my opinion was made to strengthen the raft. Labor daily, and often nighty, was incessantly kept up, and it is believed that nothing more could have been done. The continued rising of the water (due, no doubt, to the breaking and cutting of the Mississippi levees above), and, in consequence, the increase of the current to the rate of certainly over 4 miles an hour, have finally rendered all our efforts useless and of no avail. The main raft remained quite firm until 6. 30 a. m. to-day, when the chains and anchorage at its farthest and upper end gave way. The main raft swung round down stream. The immense mass of raft, wings, braces, and drift swept down at once, and all the chains and fastenings on this shore could not resist the impetus acquired. All gave way. The main raft swung round down stream. The immense mass of raft, wings, braces, and drift swept down at once, and all the chains and fastenings on this shore could not resist the impetus acquired. All gave way. The only portions of the works visible near this point where the raft stood. The river is now entirely clear. We have saved but little of the chains and lines which were on the raft.
Immediately after the raft broke, I gave all necessary orders to construct new batteries at the points deemed most available for heavy guns, to prevent the passage of gunboats of the enemy. Efforts have also been made to prepare another raft immediately. These efforts will be continued with all possible energy, but I am compelled to acknowledge that I place no great reliance that those efforts will be successful. The strength of the current, the banks of the river on the WEST shore being submerged almost entirely, the scarcity of rafting materials, the want of chains, anchors, and lines, are all very serious obstacles in the way of success, at any rate of quick success.
I respectfully suggest that our chief reliance should, in my opinion, be placed in our heavy guns, and that guns of the heaviest caliber should be sent at once to increase our batteries. Guns throwing the heaviest solid shots are required.
I remain, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
JACKSON, April 16, 1863.
Major-General STEVENSON, Vicksburg:
What point has been selected, and what have you done toward the defense of the Sunflower? The defense must be confined to field guns.
J. C. PEMBERTON.
Vicksburg, April 16, 1863.
The enemy are cutting a canal, using their dredge-boats, from Milliken's Bend into Walnut Bayou; thence, through Roundaway Bayou and Vidal Bayou, into the Mississippi, at New Carthage. The many reports