BRANDON, December 24, 1863.
Your telegram received with arrangement of Ferguson. The move must be made as indicated to you to-day. Have sent later orders to Ferguson. Do your best. I would like some artillery to go.
S. D. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY IN MISSISSIPPI, Brandon, December 24, 1863.
Maj. Gen. N. B. FORREST,
Commanding, West Tennessee:
GENERAL: I have just had an interview with Lieutenant-General Polk, and, if not too late, will give you all the aid in my power. I start Chalmers at once to the railroad between La Grage and Memphis to strike, threaten,or draw the enemy after him. Will move myself with Ferguson and Russell as soon as practicable to you or in your direction, by your route into West Tennessee or Chalmers is strong enough to play his part in any contingency, and I suggest that you be ready to assist either party in case you are not pressed; and if you are notify me in Northeast Mississippi, and you will have help. Your arms are all right and I think there will be little delay. I hope to start in five days. Chalmers is now in motion. Have your pontoons ready to be laid at the point you indicate on 18th, thought at present I prefer the other route. Chalmers' command will receive further orders before I leave, but from my scout's reports I consider it absolutely necessary to start immediately. I need not say, general, I will move at the d)X practicable moment, and every effort will be made to help you in your new and important field.
I am, general, yours, respectfully,
S. D. LEE,
ABERDEEN, December 24, 1863.
Maj. Gen. S. D. LEE,
Commanding,&c., Grenada, Miss.:
GENERAL: Your dispatch of the 23rd instant to Governor Clark has been referred by him to me. I will promptly take the necessary steps to avoid the apprehended collision between the State and Confederate troops, unless it should be unfortunately forced upon the former by the latter. I beg leave to state for your information that about the 12th of the present month a portion of my command was encamped at Tupelo when General Ferguson arrived with his brigade at Verona, distant from Tupelo about 7 miles. Before that arrival of General Ferguson's command at Verona, one of my quartermasters had purchased for the use of the command to which he was attached, of a Mr. Merrit, 1,000 bushels of corn, and was engaged in