War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0337 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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De Soto, below Quitman, and burned bridge on Mobile and Ohio Railroad; also an amount of Government corn and cotton, then returned to Meridian. Measures taken to save stores and other Government property have been very successful. From Pearl River eastward enemy deprived of the use of all rolling-stock between Pearl River and Tombigbee. The columns of cavalry of enemy from West Tennessee, reported by General Forrest to-day 10,000, with thirty pieces of artillery, crossed the Tallahatchie at New Albany on 13th and 14th. Forrest will most probably meet them at West Point, Lee moving north to meet them at same point. The preparations necessary for re-enforcements are being made.

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

Honorable J. A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War, Richmond.

DEMOPOLIS, February 20, 1864.

No movement of the enemy in any direction from Meridian up to the present; probably awaiting the arrival of his cavalry column coming down from West Tennessee. That column reported to-night as arrived at Aberdeen. Generals Lee's and Forrest's columns ordered to unite and attack it. They are both between it and Sherman, at Meridian, and in supporting distance. Head of my re-enforcing column reported at Montgomery.

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond.

DEMOPOLIS, February 21, 1864.

Head of Hardee's column arriving to-day. Shall throw head of mine across the Tombigbee to-morrow, push the whole force forward as fast as it arrives, and move upon the enemy.

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

President DAVIS,

Richmond.

DEMOPOLIS, February 21, 1864.

Nothing from General Lee or Forrest to-day. Have strong confidence in their success in preventing junction of enemy's columns, and believe they will succeed against his cavalry. Enemy reported to have moved from Meridian in direction of De Kalb-most probably to look up his cavalry, which is behind time. Refer to dispatch to President for my movements.

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

General COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.

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