War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0348 KY., SW.VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N.GA. Chapter XLIV.

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OXFORD, MISS., February 11, 1864-10 p.m.

My scots report a large force of cavalry and mounted infantry crossing Coldwater and moving toward Holly Springs from Byhalia.

N. B. FORREST,

Major-General.

Lieutenant-General POLK,

Meridian (care Lieutenant Otey).

OXFORD, February 11, 1864.

Letters per Lieutenant Otey received. Enemy 5 miles from Byhalia, moving east. I am concentrating all my force at this place except Forrest's brigade, at Grenada, and two regiments left to guard the Tallahatchie from Abbeville to Panola. Another column of the enemy will no doubt move from Collierville via Salem and Ripley, their destination said to [be the] Prairies and junction with Sherman. Their force is twelve regiments of cavalry and mounted infantry.

On the 4th, the Second Brigade, of the Twelfth Army Corps, passed down the river, reporting the whole corps on the way from Chattanooga for Vicksburg. Two hundred pack-mules were sent from Memphis to Germantown on the 7th. My force will be ready to move from here to-morrow morning.

N. B. FORREST,

Major-General.

Lieutenant-General POLK.

OXFORD, MISS., February 12, 1864.

Yazoo too low for gun-boats to get up far. About 12,000 cavalry and mounted infantry in my front. Expect they will attempt crossing Tallahatchie to-morrow. If I find they do not make a move toward Okolona and I cannot prevent their crossing, will fall back to Grenada.

N. B. FORREST,

Major-General.

Lieutenant-General POLK,

(Care Lieutenant Otey.)

HEADQUARTERS,

Grenada, Miss., February 14, 1864-2 p.m.

(Received Gainesville, Ala., 4.45 p.m., 15th.)

I am to-day falling back from Oxford and the line of the Tallahatchie River to this place. I have skirmished with the enemy from Panola to mouth of Tippah River. Their forces are moving to my right, crossing Tippah to-day 10 miles above its mouth on the road to New Albany. I am of opinion the larger portion of their forces will move via Pontotoc to Houston or Okolona and thence southward. Their forces are variously estimated at twenty-seven to thirty-one regiments cavalry and one brigade of infantry, thirteen pieces of artillery. From the best information I can get from scouts and other sources, I think they have 10,000 to 12,000 cavalry.