Lieutenant-General Smith desires me to return you his thanks for your promptness in anticipating the wants of the department here, as well as for the efficient manner with which you have executed your plans and instructions.
I remain, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. R. BOGGS,
Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS EASTERN SUB-DISTRICT OF TEXAS, Houston, May 18, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
CAPTAIN: Inclosed please find a copy of letter from Lieutenant-General Smith, commanding, received one hour ago. * [E. J.] Gurley's regiment was here, en route for Niblett's Bluff. This regiment being dismounted, I immediately issued orders for it to proceed instantly to the vicinity of Nacogdoches, Tex. I also requested Brigadier-General Mounton to order Colonel Pyron's regiment (being dismounted) to same point without delay.
[Joseph] Bates' regiment is en route for Niblett's Bluff; the necessary charge will be made there also.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. R. SCURRY,
Brigadier-General, Commanding, &c.
CAMP NEAR VERNON, MISS., May 19, 1863.
Commanding Port Hudson:
GENERAL: Lieutenant-General Pemberton has been compelled to fall back to Vicksburg and abandon Haynes' Bluff, so that your position is no long valuable. It is important, also, that all the troops in the department should be concentrated as soon as possible. Evacuate Port Hudson forthwith, and move with your troops toward Jackson, to join other troops which I am uniting.+ Bring all the field pieces that you have, with their ammunition had better be destroyed, as well as the other property you may be unable to remove.
In approaching Jackson, endeavor to get information of the enemy. Should he prevent your approach to Jackson, cross Pearl River and go the railroad.
Lieutenant-General Pemberton suffered very severely in an action near Edwards Depot on the 16th; on the following day was compelled to fall back to Vicksburg and abandon Haynes' Bluff. He is now invested. His loss in field artillery was very great; hence the necessity of bringing all you have.
Your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
*See of May 14, p. 8.
+See Logan's report of May 29, Part I, p. 180.