with its pickets thrown out to the ferries from 1 mile to 2 miles from the main force, with a level country between. There would be two lines, one with its left at a point 1 1/2 miles east of the Baldwin's Ferry road, overlooking the road to Bovina, with its right some 6 to 8 miles west, at or about the junction of the Warrenton road with Vicksburg and Hall's Ferry road, or the left could be thrown up to Bachelor's place, on the Bovina road, which would give a longer line-one not so convenient, nor so strong.
I would, in conclusion, state that the roads are very hilly and the surface of the country very irregular. Also that I am of the opinion that the line first mentioned above is the best in every way, provided it is taken up on the other side of the Hall's Ferry road, and extended down the river, and especially if there are troops for the defense of Bovina.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HENRY DE VEUVE,
Engineer on Staff.
HDQRS. LORING'S DIVISION, near B. Lanier's, May 9, 1863.
These are observations made by my orders and under my immediate observation, and give a correct view of the country, written out by my order by one of my staff.
W. W. LORING.
HEADQUARTERS LORING'S DIVISION, near Lanier's, Baldwin's Ferry Road, May 9, 1863-9 p. m.
Major R. W. MEMMINGER,
MAJOR: I have just returned from an examination of my front, ranging from a point opposite Big Black, and in the direction of a road which leads to Big Black Bridge from near Baldwin's Ferry, to the left of General Stevenson's line, on Hall's Ferry road. The line of defense near the river is very strong, and necessary to prevent the enemy turning our position toward the bridge, and, by cutting a road, will bring us nearer the Hall's Ferry road. But shorten it as much as possible, it will still make it over 6 miles for my DIVISION to guard, including Hall's Ferry road, leaving the approaches to Warrenton to General Stevenson. I would be obliged to you to let me know where General Stevenson has his different brigades stationed, in order that I may be guided in placing mine. I will send to Stevenson to ascertain. Where was General Baldwin ordered to guard? I have heard that his brigade passed here this morning. I would like some cavalry sent me; it is absolutely necessary in taking care of the long line.
Your dispatch to guard the Hall's Ferry road came to me too late to send troops there before dark. I shall move a portion of my command in that direction as soon as the moon rises to-night. I will send to you to-night a full report of the line proposed as soon as I can prepare the paper. I hope to night or to-morrow morning to have some information of the enemy.
We have several first-rate spies on the other side of the river, and I am awaiting their reports.
I am, major, respectfully, &c.,
W. W. LORING.