inform General Stevenson of the disposition of your troops, and keep him constantly advised of your movements.
I am, very respectfully,
HDQRS. DEPT. MISS. AND E. LA, Vicksburg, May 9, 1863.
General W. W. LORING,
N. B. Lanier's, Warren County:
I am directed by the lieutenant-general commanding to say that his views differ from yours as regards the mounting of different regiments. Two companies of the Twelfth Louisiana [mounted men] will be assigned to duty with your DIVISION as scouts and couriers as soon as they can be gotten. It is absolutely necessary to concentrate the cavalry of this command in order to do anything effective with it. Therefore, the cavalry now serving with you will have to be assigned to duty elsewhere. You are directed to inform these headquarters as soon as possible what cavalry you have, and where stationed; also, where the Seventh Kentucky is. If you have any of the Twentieth Mississippi mounted, send them at once to Edwards Depot, reporting the fact to these headquarters, and giving numbers, &c. I am further directed to say that the lieutenant-general commanding is fully aware of the fact that you need more cavalry, but that it is entirely out of his power to furnish you more now. Consequently, you will have to do the best you can with the two companies of the Twelfth Louisiana.
J. H. MORRISON,
HDQRS., Lanier's House, Baldwin's Ferry Road, May 9, 1863.
Major General W. W. LORING, C. S. Army,
SIR: I respectfully offer the following report as to the roads leading into our lines from the Big Black River, at or near the two ferries, Hall's and Baldwin's:
The ground immediately on the bank of the river, and for an average distance of at least 1 mile, is low and nearly level: then we find a range of hills rising to the height of from 40 to 100 feet. These bluffs or hills meet the river at about a mile or two below Big Black Railroad Bridge. The river at about a mile or two below Big Black Railroad Bridge. The river can be bridged by the enemy, if he wishes, in a few hours at any point. A little this side of Baldwin's Ferry the road forks; one goes almost in a straight line through P. Nolan's place to the town of Bovina; the other goes to Vicksburg, with a connection to Mont Alban, and also a connection with the first road. From this it is evident that the road to Bovina is the shortest line, and of great importance in connection with the defense of Big Black Railroad Bridge. The nearest point from the Vicksburg road that a good defense can be made on the Bovina road is at least 1 1/2 miles east, on P. Nolan's plantation. The distance from Baldwin's Ferry road to Hall's Ferry is at least 8 miles; to the junction of the Warrenton and Baldwin's Ferry roads to Hall's Ferry road to Warrenton, some 2 miles nearer the ferry. There is also an intermediate ferry between Baldwin's and Hall's which must be watched. It is evident from these facts that an army watching the two ferries [Hall's and Baldwin's] must have a line of at least 6 miles in extent,