War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0336 KY., SW.VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N.GA. Chapter XLIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

DEMOPOLIS, February 17, 1864.

The enemy entered Meridian the 14th, day after my last dispatch. His forward movement was retarded by my cavalry, who assailed him in front and flank. His movement was so compact as to make it difficult to do more than annoy him. Since he has been in Meridian he has been breaking up the Mobile and Ohio and the Meridian and Demopolis Railroads. I am informed by General Lee he has moved also on Enterprise. What his intentions are has not yet been determined. He may still go to Mobile or return to Jackson. Ordered Lee and Forrest to harass him, and to intercept a column of cavalry coming down to join him from West Tennessee, reported 10,000 strong. Am holding my small force in hand at Demopolis to take advantage of events. All stores from the Mobile and Ohio Railroad of special value removed, and rolling-stock placed beyond his reach. Am increasing stores of garrison at Mobile.

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

His Excellency President DAVIS,

Richmond, Va.

DEMOPOLIS, February 18, 1864.

By my orders General Forrest left a force to hold enemy in check near Memphis some days ago, and is now moving rapidly with his column to strike that of the enemy on its way to Columbus from West Tennessee. This column is one of cavalry, reported 10,000 strong, and is moving to join Sherman and secure food for his infantry at Meridian. The head of this column is reported near Pontotoc; General Forrest close by. General Lee moved forward under orders yesterday to co-operate with Forrest in an attack upon it. A command under General Ruggles and the Mississippi State troops will unite in the attack. To crush that force in important.

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

Honorable J. A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War, Richmond.

DEMOPOLIS, February 18, 1864.

My telegrams to the President have kept him advised of the movements of the enemy. The last dispatch sent yesterday. General Lee, who is covering my front, reports 7 p.m. yesterday. Says enemy engaged tearing up Mobile and Ohio and Selma Railroads above Meridian to-day. As yet indicates movement in no certain direction from Meridian.

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

Honorable J. A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.

MERIDIAN, February 19, 1864.

Enemy reported to have torn up 10 miles of Mobile and Ohio Railroad above Meridian, and the same amount of Selma Railroad from same point, then returned to Meridian; also to have gone down to