Monday, September 9, 2013

September 7, 1863 (Wednesday): Defending Mississippi

General Stephen D. Lee

Near Crystal Springs, September 7, 1863.
Major General S. D. LEE,
Commanding Cavalry:
    GENERAL: I have information from a reliable citizen just out from Natchez that the enemy are preparing for a simultaneous raid from Natchez and Vicksburg. Some allowance should be made for information coming through a citizen, yet it should at least put us on the watch. My scouts in the vicinity of Natchez report the enemy impressing all the horses in that region. I think such a movement quite probable. These raids would likely attempt to form a junction at Hazlehurst or Brookhaven. you see my position. I can manage any force that may be sent from Natchez if I am protected from a force coming in my rear from the direction of Vicksburg. Would it not be advisable to concentrate a sufficient force of cavalry at some point near this place to prevent these raids from forming a junction and capture them should they come out? Any additional information I may receive will be fowarded to you at once. I learned yesterday that the enemy is rebuilding the bridge across Pass Manchac, on New Orleans and Jackson Railroad, and will probably occupy Ponchatoula very soon.
    I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    John L. LOGAN,
    Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 52, Part 2, Page 523.

Vicksburg was vital to control of the Mississippi River, but it also served as a jumping off point for raids into the interior of the Confederacy.  Lee was an interesting character.  At Antietam he commanded the guns in the hottest of the action around Dunker Church.  After the battle Jefferson Davis asked Lee for an artillery officer of high ability to send West.  Captured at Vicksburg with Pemberton and paroled, Lee was appointed major general and given command of a cavalry division.


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