War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0217 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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tions, and a very wealthy settlement was reported this p. m. 4 miles to the left. Encamped on an abandoned plantation west of the Tallahatta, a small stream with limestone bottom and banks; excellent water. The supply train was corralled at this point, and pioneer train reduced to six wagons. Forage and meat sufficient. Rails scarce.

February 14, pioneer corps at work at 5.30 a. m. building bridge across Tallahatta Creek and corduroying the swamp. Command commenced moving at 9 a. m., rote nearly east. During the a. m. turned suddenly south at Sukelena Creek, from the Marion road, and camped on the banks of the Oktibbeha near Matthews' plantation. During the morning passed over some ridges quite high, covered with pines, no oak or underbrush. Roads obstructed with fallen trees. Water good and convenient. Marched about 13 miles.

February 15, rebuilt a bridge across a branch of the Oktibbeha, and moved on into Meridian, a small Confederate town at the junction of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad with the Southern Railroad. Town wholly sustained by Confederate Government. Forage and provisions plenty. Water good and convenient. Length of march, 4 1/2 miles. The weather, which up to this time had been very fine, changed during the night and to-day rained quite hard.

February 16, heavy infantry details, with Third Division pioneer corps, destroying railroad, which was effected by taking up the rails and piling the ties together 5 or 6 feet wide and 4 feet high, balancing the rails on their sides with weights on each end, and setting fire to the piles. The rails would invariably bend from 30 to 40 degrees. We found this to be the most effective manner of destroying the road. The Fourth Division pioneer corps accompanied its division to Enterprise. I also sent Assistant Dunning forward with General Crocker to sketch the route. Weather clear, but cold.

February 17, destruction of railroad continues. Lieutenant Bush and Assistant Davis at work sketching Meridian and vicinity. Weather quite cold, but clear.

February 18, heavy details still at work on railroad. Weather very cold.

February 19, still tearing up railroad. Weather exceedingly cold; light snow flying. Lieutenant Bush, topographical engineer, was ordered to report and accompany General Sherman, and Assistant S. Davis was placed in charge.

February 20, in obedience with your orders, I took charge of a detail of two companies, and destroyed all the public buildings, arsenal (containing about 1,000 stand of worthless guns), depots, warehouses, & c. The command commenced the retrogade march at 6.30 a. m., and moved back over same road over which we advanced. I remained with a detail of cavalry, and destroyed the bridge over the Oktibbeha after the rear guard had passed. Weather clear and cold. We encamped on Tallahatta Creek, having marched 17 miles.

February 21, leaving camp at 7 a. m., we moved on into Decatur, about 12 miles.

February 22, leaving Decatur at 7 a. m., we moved on rapidly until we struck Tuscalameta Swamp, where it became necessary to do considerable repairing and recording. We encamped on Untuckaloo Creek. Length of march, about 17 miles. Camping-ground good, and water convenient.

February 23, leaving camp at 6.30 a. m., command moved through Hillsborough at 3 p. m., and encamped on Shockalo Creek, about 2