War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0197 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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possibly result from our remaining in the vicinity of Panola. Either we should move on or return. Our greatest danger is the possibility of the enemy getting in our rear and obstructing the recrossing at the Coldwater. The country on each side is difficult to move over, and a few men could give serious annoyance. We have, however, good men and plenty of dry powder, and under any circumstances the brigade will do its former commander no discredit.

I drink your good health, general, and will be glad to hear from you by the returning courier.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. McMILLEN,

Colonel, Commanding.

Brigadier General R. P. BUCKLAND,

Commanding District of Memphis.

P. S.- My information is that General Sherman entered Jackson on Friday evening last at 7 o'clock, the enemy crossing the Pearl River. Can hear nothing of a force at or near Greenwood. Rebel troops are reported moving toward Grenada. Forrest was at Oxford last Friday.

[Inclosure.]

IN THE FIELD,

Memphis, Tenn., February 6, 1864.

Colonel McMILLEN,

Commanding Brigade:

SIR: I send the effective portion of the First Alabama Cavalry to report to you for duty. You can use them for scouting thoroughly on your flanks and as couriers to communicate with me or with General Buckland. Our information makes it almost certain that the rebels have fallen back of the Tallahatchie. One of our brigades is up the Yazoo, probably as far as Greenwood, and this may account for their retrograde movement. We have been delayed awaiting Waring's brigade from Columbus, and shall not cross the Coldwater before Monday. As your movement is designated to attract their attention be as demonstrative as you can. If I should not be able to communicate with you again move to the vicinity of Panola if you can, improving any opportunity you may have to cross over even, if you think it advisable. Communicate with General Buckland here, and with me at Collierville, if anything important transpires. I am informed from Vicksburg that General Sherman started toward Jackson on Thursday last. If you find it desirable to hold on in the neighborhood of Panola you can send back for supplies and your pontoons, if you desire them.

Yours, truly,

W. SOOY SMITH,

Brigadier-General, Chief of Cavalry, Mil. Div. of the Miss.

CAMP AT BOWEN'S, 2 MILES SOUTH OF CHULAHOMA,

February 12, 1864 - 9 p. m.

GENERAL: I received a copy of your telegram on the 9th instant to General Buckland night before last, and left the vicinity of Senatobia the next day about noon, reaching this on the road to