the Yazoo. This destruction should include all cotton WEST of Big Black. I have no one to execute this order. Can you detail one of your local companies of cavalry to burn in Holmes and Carroll? If the cotton is left for the enemy, it will more than pay their expenses in taking Vicksburg. We have sunk by torpedoes, in sight of Yazoo City, the iron-clad De Kalb, of thirteen guns. Grant intrenching close to Jackson. Heavy firing there yesterday. Enemy have not yet extended from Yazoo City beyond Benton.
ISAAC N. BROWN.
Commander, C. S. Navy.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, July 18, 1863
General J. C. PEMBERTON, Brandon, MISS.:
In sending lists for the discharge of paroled prisoners, discriminate as far as you can in some distinct manner those soldiers deemed most reliable and certain to remain firm to their colors, making separately likewise those so sick and wounded as not to be available for early service. We shall not have enough captured men of the enemy to discharge all our men, and it is important to make selection of the most serviceable.
J. A. SEDDON.
HEADQUARTERS PAROLED PRISONERS, July 18, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT, Commanding U. S. Forces;
GENERAL: I find it necessary again to communicate through you with General Smith, and, in pursuance of engagement, I send by the hands of Major H. M. Mathews an open letter to his address. I hope you will afford him every facility in going to and returning from Vicksburg.
I am, &c.,
J. C. PEMBERTON,
HDQRS. PAROLED PRISONERS, On the March, July 18, 1863.
Major General MARTIN L. SMITH:
You are authorized to grant leaves of absence for thirty days from the date of the receipt of this communication to all paroled officers and soldiers now in Vicksburg. To invalids such furloughs not exceeding sixty days, or, in extreme cases, ninety days, on the proper surgeon's certificate. In all cases the parties concerned to report in person at Demopolis, Ala., unless some other point shall hereafter be designated by the War Department. At the expiration of their respective leaves of absence, you will request of the commanding general of the United States forces at Vicksburg such facilities as may be necessary (employing paroled prisoners) in the Trans-Mississippi Department. I feel authorized to direct this, having received the assurance of Major General U. S. Grant that passports granted by me to the paroled prisoners at Vicksburg will be recognized by him, unless special military reasons intervene to prevent it. It is very important that I receive the roll of paroled prisoners. If not already sent by General [T. H.] Taylor, send it by special courier through flag of truce.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. C. PEMBERTON.