War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0255 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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the Second, Third, and Fourth Tennessee Cavalry Regiments, Third and Fifth Kentucky Cavalry, and Twenty-eighth Kentucky Mounted Infantry.

On the 30th, I reached Columbia, from which point I sent the Third Kentucky Cavalry down the north bank of Duck River to scour the country bordering that river on the north to the Tennessee River, and to watch that stream from the mouth of Duck River to a point opposite Fort Henry. The Fifth Kentucky Cavalry was ordered down the south bank of Duck River to clear the country to the Tennessee, and to watch that stream from the mouth of Duck River to Savannah, where this regiment was to communicate with me and receive further orders.

The object of these movements was to clear the country of the bands of guerrillas that infested it, and to watch any attempt that Forrest, who was then at Jackson, Tenn., might make to throw his force, or any portion of it, over into Middle Tennessee or Kentucky.

These regiments captured some 50 guerrillas, and among them the notorious Colonel Hawkins.

The Third Kentucky Cavalry reported back at Nashville, according its instructions, and the Fifth Kentucky met my command at Waynesborough and accompanied it from that point. The Twenty-eighth Kentucky Mounted Infantry was ordered from Columbia to Pulaski, Tenn., where it reported to General Crook, and was assigned to duty with the Second Cavalry Division under his command, agreeably to my instructions.

General Crook sent the Fourth U. S. Cavalry as escort to a supply train, which I ordered him to send through with rations for my command, from Pulaski to Savannah. He also sent the Seventy-second Indiana Mounted Infantry through from Pulaski to Savannah to open communication with that point, and hold the ferry-boats there until the arrival of the command.

Upon reaching the Tennessee River, the whole command, consisting of the Second, Third, and Fourth Tennessee Cavalry, Fifth Kentucky Cavalry, Fourth U. S. Cavalry, and Seventy-second Indiana Mounted Infantry, was thrown across the river and moved toward Corinth, which point we reached on the 8th day of January. Forrest had moved southward into Mississippi before my command reached the Tennessee River, urged to this step by the movement of the troops of the Sixteenth Army Corps upon him.

Orders had been issued to abandon the railroad from Memphis to Corinth, and I moved my command to Collierville, where I awaited the arrival of Waring's brigade from Columbus, from which point it was ordered to move to join our other [cavalry*] forces. Owing to bad roads and the freshest, which made the crossing of the streams extremely difficult, especially that of the Ohio River, this brigade was delayed, and only reached Collierville on Monday, the 8th day of February.

For full particular of this march, I beg leave to refer to Colonel Waring's report. Much of its ammunition had been sent by boats from Columbus, and it was encumbered by a train which had to be got rid of. By great effort the whole command was prepared for the movement and put in motion on the 11th day of February.

Forrest had taken position with all his forces behind the Tallahatchie River, determined to resist our crossing. I threw McMillen's


* According to report of April 3.