his way to the fleet in Mobile Bay, it appears that there are 800 prisoners of war on that island, guarded by a daily detail from an aggregate force of 240 colored soldiers, without a field battery, with an unfinished fort mounting two heavy guns pointing seaward, and with an old sloop of war in the harbor scarcely serviceable for immediate defense. Although this post is not in my command, I deem it my duty to represent these facts to the commanding general, particularly as I am credibly informed that a large number of flats and launches are now building in the bays along Mississippi Sound, between Cedar Point and Pascagoula, and that the enemy designs moving with these to Ship Island for the purpose of liberating all the prisoners confined there.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. STEAMER J. P. JACKSON,
Mississippi Sound, December 10, 1864.
Commodore J. S. PALMER,
Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron:
SIR: I have the honor to report that a small detachment of General Davidson's cavalry have reached West Pascagoula; the main column have moved in the direction of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. I have communicated with the officer in charge of the detachment that has arrived at the north shore, and have notified the captain of the transport at Ship Island, which has their stores on board. General Davidson is in command of the raiding forces, and wishes all the stores on board of the transport to be landed at West Pascagoula. This cannot be done with any vessels drawing over three feet and a half of water. When the transport arrives I shall endeavor to land all the stores I can with the Stockdale. Transports of light draught are required to do the work.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. W. PENNINGTON,
Acting Volunteer Lieutenant, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS DEFENSES OF NEW ORLEANS,
New Orleans, December 10, 1864.
I am instructed to inform you that 100 men of the Twenty-sixth Indiana Volunteers have been ordered to take post opposite Plaquemine to guard the telegraph station and line which is now building, and that they will be placed under your command. Brigadier-General Sherman directs that you issue orders to the commanding officer to throw out pickets and take every precaution to guard against attack.
You will see that the orders in relation to marauding are rigidly enforced, and that none of the plantations are visited except in the line of duty, or with the consent of the owners. You will arrange a system of danger-signals by which you may communicate in case of necessity, and should have facilities for crossing over in case of need.
I am, sir, respectfully,