War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0752 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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them to any extent. He can use his nine boats to cross his troops to this side. Arrival of Lorenzo Thomas has changed enemy's plans, or his movement up the river was a ruse.

I ought to have back Buford's brigade; certainly no more troops should leave this department.

Dispatch, signed Brigadier-General Chalmers, yesterday says:

Sixty-four steamers left Memphis since Thursday, loaded with soldiers and negroes, ostensibly to assault Vicksburg.

The raft in Yazoo, at Snyder's Mill, has given away and gone entirely. Am therefore forced to strengthen batteries there at expense of Vicksburg.


JACKSON, April 17, 1863.

General JOSEPH E. Johnston, Tullahoma, Tenn.:

Following from Stevenson, of date 16th:

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 received lately of the construction of batteries on the State levee, are confirmed to-day by observation with the telescope. Am placing batteries to-day within good range of them.


HDQRS. DEPT. OF MISS. AND E. La., Jackson, April 17, 1863.

General JOSEPH E. Johnston, Tullahoma, Tenn.:

GENERAL: I address you directly, not knowing whether Colonel Ewell is with you or not. I informed you by telegraph on 13th instant that I was establishing depots of commissary and subsistence on Mobile and Ohio Railroad, at Macon, Meridian, and Enterprise; also at Columbus. The road can be run 4 miles above Okolona; but without a much larger cavalry force than I can control, I do not think it safe to locate depots above Macon on the road. I have long regarded it as highly probable that the Army of Middle Tennessee might be forced to take such position as to require supplies to be draw from Northeastern Mississippi. You will, however, remember that the large force within this department, particularly at Vicksburg and eastward, has, by reason of the frequent closing of supplies, and the indisposition of railroad has much impeded collection of supplies, and the indisposition of railroad authorities to give zealous aid had been a great drawback. Corn can be had in large quantity of transportation can be provided; but meat is difficult to be got at any price. I have authorized 50 cents per pound, and have directed impressment where parties refuse to sell at that, always leaving sufficient for family use. Every effort will be made to accomplish the object.

There is no doubt a considerable part of Grant's army did go up the river as high as Memphis, and, perhaps, into the Cumberland, but there seems now to be no doubt that re-enforcements are being sent down again.

The arrival of Adjt. and Insp. General Lorenzo Thomas, U. S. Army, who is now at Vicksburg, has, I think, made a great change in enemy's