War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0347 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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not to repeat the offense or hold any communication with the enemy or traffic with citizens inside of their military lines. As soon as the roads through the bottoms will permit the moving of troops and artillery, I hope to operate successfully against the boats navigating the Mississippi River. At present it is impracticable.

You are no doubt fully posted as to the movements of the enemy from Vicksburg and the Yazoo River against Jackson. My scouts, who have been on the river ever since the movement began, report that up to the 3rd instant thirty-four transports loaded with troops have passed Friar's Point, going down. Estimated strength, 12,000. They have evacuated Fort Pillow and Columbus, and, except around Memphis, West Tennessee is almost entirely clear of Federal troops.

With an earnest desire to place in the service every available man in the department assigned me, and to secure as far as in my power the subsistence now in West Tennessee so much needed by the army.

I am, Mr. President, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. B. FORREST,

Major-General, Commanding.

Honorable JEFFERSON DAVIS,

President, Richmond, Va.

[First indorsement.]

ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, March 9, 1864.

Respectfully referred to General Bragg.

The Cavalry Department of West Tennessee and North Mississippi is not know at this office. North Mississippi and West Tennessee are within the limits of General Polk's command.

By order Adjutant and Inspector General:

H. L. CLAY,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Second indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES CONFEDERATE STATES,

Richmond, March 16, 1864.

Respectfully returned.

An inspection of this command has been ordered.

GEORGE WM. BRENT,

Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.

For GENERAL BRAGG.

OXFORD, February 10, 1864-1 p.m. (Received Meridian, 11th.)

Fifteen hundred infantry and 300 cavalry came out as far as Senatobia. Colonel McCulloch met and drove them back to Hickahale. I think this only a feint. Their real move is to go from Collierville to Pontotoc and strike the Prairies and Mobile and Ohio Road. Am preparing to meet that move as best I can. They have about 10,000 cavalry and mounted infantry. Smith's Dutch brigade from Columbus passed Somerville on the 7th, going in direction of Memphis; mounted recently in West Tennessee.

N. B. FORREST,

Major-General.

Lieutenant-General POLK.