nothing to prevent my making a successful expedition into Tennessee. I, however, have full confidence in the detachments sent out doing great damage to the road. If you will send me some torpedoes, I will put them under the track to a certainty.
P. D. RODDEY,
HEADQUARTERS LORING'S DIVISION,
Canton, October 22, 1863.
Colonel B. S. EWELL,
Adjutant and Inspector General:
COLONEL: If it is designed to fortify Yazoo City it is best to commence the work of repairing the road for the purpose between here and that place. The bridges are mostly destroyed and the road sadly in need of repairs. If not used for the purpose indicated, it will be of great service in bringing out of the country between Big Black and the Yazoo Rivers large quantities of grain,&c. Besides building the bridge across Pearl River at Smith's, the road from there to Morton needs a good deal of work. We may be enabled to get it done by negro labor. The season is advancing, and if anything is proposed toward obstructing the Coldwater River and Yazoo Pass, the earlier it is commenced the better.
I doubt the practicability of felling trees across Coldwater, even if it is done on the "Second bank," as it is called. The river rises to such an extent as will prevent steamers of the draught that can come through the pass to float over them. I was told that the enemy had cut away all the trees near the pass to prevent further obstruction, and General Chalmers, who is near Coldwater and the pass, can ascertain, and if practicable, effect the object. I have thought it was best to make these suggestions for the reason that it was overlooked last year until it was too late. The river is down now and a thorough examination can be effected. We will require a large force to sustain the parties constructing the fort. As soon as the enemy is informed they will re-enforce to prevent it, and a battle must ensue.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. LORING,
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY IN NORTH MISSISSIPPI,
Oxford, October 22, 1863.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: After many disappointments and much labor I have succeeded in collecting and organizing the scattered and independent cavalry in North Mississippi into some military order, and have divided my command into three brigades, as follows:
Slemons' brigade, Colonel W. F. Slemons commanding:
2nd Arkansas Cavalry, Captain Cochran commanding, effective strength. 120
7th Tennessee Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Duckworth commanding, effective strength 210
3rd Mississippi State Cavalry, Colonel John McGuirk commanding, effective strength 450