War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0771 Chapter XXXVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -CONFEDERATE.

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COLUMBUS, MISS., April 20, 1863.

Lieutenant-General PEMBERTON:

The following dispatch received at 10 p. m.:

WEST POINT, April 20, 1863.

About 2,000 mounted infantry and cavalry are at Big Springs, 18 miles WEST of this place. I have just returned from that region, and am well posted as to the facts. Can you send a force to protect the bridges at Tibbee?

JNO. S. KENNEDY,

Captain and Assistant Commissary of Subsistence.

DANIEL RUGGLES.

JACKSON, April 20, 1863.

General FEATHERSTON, Fort Pemberton, via Grenada:

General Loring continues in command of the troops on the Yazoo and Tallahatchee; headquarters in Jackson.

J. C. PEMBERTON.

JACKSON, April 20, 1863.

General FEATHERSTON, Fort Pemberton, via Grenada:

Keep the Cotton Plant to supply your command, and sent the McCulloch to report to General Stevenson. If you require another, send to Major Banks for one of the large boats.

J. C. PEMBERTON.

[APRIL 20, 1863.]

Major J. J. REEVE, Assistant Adjutant-GENERAL:

MAJOR: Captain [George D.] Wise has just got in from his reconnaissance, and reports the fleet lying at James' plantation, about a mile below New Carthage. He found it impracticable to get to the Mississippi except by boats. Having obtained a skiff, he succeeded in ascending the river to within a few miles of Joe Davis', where he learned a large gunboat was, a part of the crew on shore and a part engaged on the wreck of the Indianola, endeavoring to remove the iron. Passing around to avoid being seen, he found the fleet yesterday evening. It had arrived Friday morning at 10 o'clock. It consisted of two iron-clads, eight guns; one iron-clad, thirteen guns; one at Davis'; one ram, iron casemate in front, carrying three guns; one transport, carrying one large brass gun in bow; one small tug, and one large barge heavily loaded.

They were all undergoing repairs. Shot-holes were visible on some; some had been plugged up; some had been engaged bringing supplies from New Carthage to James'. There were in sight about 150 tents; the house and negro quarters were also filled; three colors floating from the latter; some few wagons visible. He thinks a large force collected there. He states that only five of the gunboats were at James' last night, the sixth arriving this morning. He examined carefully, has evidently taken great pains to be accurate, and deserves much credit for him energy in overcoming the great difficulties he had to encounter, as well as for the intelligence displayed in making his reconnaissance.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. M. BARTON.