CANTON, April 24, 1863.
Courier from Carthage, sent by Major Cummins, Maury's staff courier, left 4 a. m. to-day. Messenger to Cummins from Philadelphia, Neshoba County, report 700 Federal cavalry at Philadelphia yesterday afternoon. Cummins falls back behind Yockanockany River, with train at Laflore's Ferry.
SNYDER'S MILL, April 24, 1863.
Lieutenant General J. C. PEMBERTON:
SIR: I beg to report that the raft is again closed across the Yazoo River at Snyder's Mill, and the structure is made out of the best materials I could find. One of the sections of the raft is made out of the old material, and is strong and well fastened. The other section, moored to the WEST bank of the river, having been hastily constructed at Yazoo City out of poor material, is not near so strong as I could wish, and to supply this defect I propose building another section out of buoyant, strong cypress timber, that I now send for to Sunflower and Rolling Fork, and I think with attention the present obstruction will remain in its place until O prepare the new section.
I have released all the boats I had employed to construct the raft except the Prince of Wales, which boat being too large for the tributaries in carrying corn, &c., I will make her answer my purpose for the work I propose.
It was impossible for me to make this late obstruction with fewer boats than I had employed, and the small boats, with power and easily handled, were best suited to the work. The smoke of the enemy's gunboats, hourly in sight, admonished me that there was not a moment to be lost in closing this river against them, for once a boat had passed our batteries here, there is no telling the mischief she might do among our transports.
Rest assured, general, that the authority you did me the honor to invest me with shall not in the slightest degree be abused, but all my acts shall tend to the good of our common cause, and my best energies are at all times subject to your commands.
The bearer, Mr. Turner, informs me he can get chains in Mobile. These I will need for new fastenings, and you will please furnish him with the authority to procure them.
JACKSON, April 25, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:
On the 20th telegraphed to General Cooper for osnaburgs and hawsers and chains in Mobile, the latter indispensable to safety of Yazoo River. No answer received. Please order these things to be supplied.
J. C. PEMBERTON.
RICHMOND, April 25, 1863.
Brigadier-General [A.] Cumming, of Georgia, has been ordered from Mobile to take command of the Georgia Brigade, under Colonel [T. H.]