was positive, and I accordingly made the best disposition of my limited force and prepared to meet them, as telegraphed you last night. I sent a staff officer to General Dennis' quarters at Big Black to-day, ostensibly on other business, but chiefly to obtain information regarding this movement and the Federal account of the recent battle on Red River. He telegraphs me to-day that the expedition has been deferred two weeks. The intelligence from Red River has doubtless reached you by telegraph.
My force is quite inadequate to properly protect the line of Big Black and the Yazoo, and I should be glad to have an addition regiment if it can be spared from the northern or eastern portion of the department. I have collected about 100 hands for repairs of railroad, and the work is being pushed forward vigorously.
I have thoroughly scoured the county of Yazoo for deserters and conscripts, and have forwarded them, and shall at the earliest moment the force can be spared take in hand the counties of Madison, Hinds, and Copiah.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
BRANDON, April 19, 1864.
Lieutenant General L. POLK:
Shall I destroy boats on Pearl River trading with the enemy?
A. B. WATTS,
CHARLESTON, S. C., April 19, 1864.
General S. COOPER:
Telegram of 18th instant received. Order for movement will be issued, but I beg earnestly to call attention of War Department to the fact that First South Carolina [Regulars] and eight companies of Twentieth South Carolina are essential as artillerists for defense of batteries on Sullivan's Island. Shall order be carried out? Please answer.
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
Suspend order for the First Regiment only; another will be substituted.
OKOLONA, April 20, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel T. M. JACK,
I arrived at this place this evening with 250 prisoners from Fort Pillow. Please send guard after them. Let me know when they will get here. General Gholson wishes to retain negroes captured to work on railroad. Will guard and be responsible for their safety.
Provost-Marshal, Forrest's Cavalry.