War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0861 Chapter XLIII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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BRANDON, December 24, 1863.

Brigadier-General CHALMERS:

Move as early as you can on railroad between La Grange and Memphis, to strike, threaten, or draw enemy after you, as your discretion indicates. Have supplies over Tallahatchie to enable you to remain there at least ten days. Your movements need not be concealed. Have your scouts active, and report force, also your moves; also those of the enemy. Ferguson will not move just now.

S. D. LEE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY IN MISSISSIPPI, Brandon, December 24, 1863.

Brig. Gen. J. R. CHALMERS,

Commanding Cavalry Brigade, Oxford, Miss.:

GENERAL: I with you to move at the earliest practicable moment on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad to strike, threaten, or draw the enemy after you anywhere between La Grange and Memphis. Arrange to subsist your command at least ten days over the Tallahatchie. I rely on your judgment in this matter. Colonel Russell with 1,000 men from West Tennessee is now at Okolona, and I will move with Ferguson and his command in five of six days either to Saulsbury or around Corinth. Will notify so you can join me or remain as is deemed best. With your command, 1,700 men, I consider you can sufficiently threaten the railroad or strike as is in your judgment best, but it is all important that you should act at once to draw the enemy from Forrest. I have had to stop Ferguson as Russell is not quite ready. Have your rear as well arranged for crossing as practicable. I think it best that you make your move as public as possible, but do as you think best in the matter.

I am, general, yours, respectfully,

S. D. LEE,

Major-General.

P. S.-I consider the railroad threatened as soon as you cross the Tallahatchie. Hence my anxiety for you to move early.

S. D. L.

Major-General.

BRANDON, December 24, 1863.

General CHALMERS:

Use your discretion as to crossing. The move must be made, as it is important.

Your force is large enough to hold your own. I will send details by letter. Arrange to subsist and stay over Tallahatchie at least the time indicated.

S. D. LEE,

Major-General.