valuable, and himself and wife fired upon in their bedrooms, mortally wounding the latter and dangerously wounding the former. This is the second dark tragedy of this kind which has been perpetrated by Yankee negroes since I have been here on duty. Can you not administer the remedy asked for? What with Yankee negroes on the one side and Confederate outlaws on the other, the life and the property of the people of this county are rendered fearfully insecure. The people cry for protection. For God's sake give them your protection. They are with us heart and should and should not be abandoned.
Your early attention to this matter will greatly oblige the parties mostly interested as well as your most obedient servant, &c.,
N. G. WATTS,
Colonel and Agent.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF ALA., MISS., AND EAST LA.,
Meridian, April 4, 1865.
WILLIAM LYON, Esq.,
SIR: By direction of the lieutenant-general commanding, at present necessarily absent from headquarters, I have the honor to acknowledge through you the receipt of a proposition from certain citizens of Marengo and adjoining counties to furnish negroes for military service. General Taylor tenders to these gentlemen his thanks and his high appreciation of the patriotic motives which have thus promptly induced this offer of assistance. No orders from the proper authorities at Richmond have as yet reached him on the subject of the late legislation with regard to the employment of negroes as soldiers, but this would not prove an obstacle with the commanding general in the acceptance of this proposition could the department furnish the requisite arms, which, unfortunately, is impracticable at the present moment. He would be gratified, however, if the gentlemen who have affixed their names to the application would take steps to ascertain definitely the number of negroes that could be furnished at short notice, together with the names of officers to whom owners would be willing to intrust them.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Spanish Fort, April 4, 1865.
Enemy opened with all his guns at 5.30 o'clock and closed at 7.30, without intermission. He dismounted the 64-pounder in Battery 3, breaking the trunnions, and 24-pounder Parrott in Battery 2. He did no other damage. We did not reply, except with a few guns in Battery Numbers 1, Spanish Fort. The firing was so rapid we could not estimate accurately the number of guns. Colonel Patton, Captain Slocomb, and myself estimate his guns at about thirty and his mortars at twelve. There were three or four casualties altogether. Can't you send another 64-pounder and some 10-inch mortars? I would like to have two more 64-pounders and fight the fight out in earnest. The enemy's batteries are very heavy, but they can never take place with them. All's well.
R. L. GIBSON,
(Same to General Liddell.)