will also find it difficult at an early day to cross Big Black at any point. We had determined to repair the road to Yazoo City before the heavy rains, particularly with a floating bridge across the Big Black at Moore's Bluff and the causeway immediately on the other side, but an engineer took charge and it has all ended in my pioneer party making a second pontoon across Pearl River. I fear it is now too late, as the heavy rains have set in will prevent it. This was the only change for crossing it except by railroad.
The cavalry and infantry force for the protection of the road should be under one commander, for the simple reason that whatever is done it is well if it is done quickly, and both must act together.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. LORING,
NOTE.-The Honey Island, Sidon, Rising Sun, and Greenwood roads lead through the swamp along the Yazoo River, and can be, if it is thought best, blocked and considerable trestle-work and bridges destroyed; that from Yazoo City is a ridge road and cannot be obstructed. It may be that these roads will serve our purpose to reach the river during high water to fire upon boats coming into it. They are the only ones which lead to it, and even they are at times impassable.
W. W. LORING,
Write that General Polk has divided the department into two parts, &c.
General Lee has instructions to post a brigade (Ross') in between Yazoo and Big Black, charged with protection of your front and railroad, while Forrest will take care of what is above. Ross will be kept in communication with you and keep me advised; and as these troops will be there soon, there is probably no necessity for sending you other cavalry as asked for.
The undersigned Senators and Representatives from the State of Alabama respectfully invite the attention of the honorable Secretary of War to the consideration of a few suggestions relative to the present condition of North Alabama, and the necessity of permanently holding the south side of the Tennessee River in boat State. You are aware that the enemy now claim and hold all the country in said State north of said river; that river, running through the entire width of the State from east to west, is both deep and wide difficult to be crossed by an enemy, and is now the dividing line between us and our foes. Brigadier-General Roddey, with his command, is guarding a portion of the south side of the river; but to enable him to do so more effectually, and to protect the country from the enemy at Corinth, Miss., and also to draw supplies for our army from Middle Tennessee, which he is expected to do, be will require a much larger force than he now has under his command. A glance