HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, Yazoo City, June 6, 1863.
General JOSEPH E. Johnston:
GENERAL: I send you Captain Fitzpatrick's (of the Engineer Corps) report. The works that have been put up here were put to fire up the river at boats coming down. There are no defensive works for the city, except the works the batteries are in. There are four roads leading to Yazoo City-the Benton road, the Mechanicsburg and Dover Of course, to make matters complete, works should be constructed to defend each to these roads, and artillery put in them. On the other side of the river there is a splendid road leading from Satartia to Yazoo City, and, of course, in transports the enemy could land any force they pleased at Satartia, which is now in their hands, and march on the other side of the river and never come over works on this side of the river. If the heights that command the river had works, and cannon in them, no infantry force could stay in the plain below, but the enemy may march above Yazoo, and cross the river whenever they please. With the lights before me, I should say it would take a large force to protect Yazoo City, if the enemy wants the place. Many of the negroes have left who were impressed, and the captain thinks were encouraged to run off by their masters. The only work they have been engaged in so far is up the breastworks for the heavy guns, and in felling trees on the river, which obstructed the fire of the guns, the bank being lined with trees. The only thing I see under the circumstances is to have a small garrison, and trust to the enemy's not attacking, or go into an elaborate system of works, which require a large garrison to defend, and many cannon. Please, after reading my views, give your instructions.
W. H. T. WALKER.
[P. S.]-There is nothing new from thee front. The enemy at last accounts were drawn up in line of battle 1 1/2 [miles] this side of Mechanicsburg. Their numbers the cavalry have no idea of.
ENGINEER'S OFFICE, Yazoo City, MISS., June 6, 1863.
GENERAL: At present we have six guns in position commanding the river. Our read defenses are but partially completed, and the character of the ground such as to hardly admit of defense. We have 150 hands engaged on the works, and will prosecute them as fast as possible. The approaches in our rear are so numerous and of such a character that it will be very difficult to make the city defensible; while in our front, on the opposite side of the river, we are entirely exposed from an approach on the Satartia road to this place, which at present is an excellent road.
Yours, very obediently,
W. P. FITZPATRICK,
Captain of Engineers.
HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, YAZOO, JUNE 6, 1863.
General JOSEPH E. Johnston, Commanding GENERAL:
GENERAL: Since writing, an Arkansas officer has come in to get permission to go after some deserters. Eighteen left the night before last,