condition. If possible, send me some small-arms ammunition, caliber .54. The enemy is reported moving from Houston in this direction, but I am of opinion if they find out we are here that they will move by Greensborough. At any rate, if they are not too strong will meet and fight them. Have offered them battle two or three times, and they are evidently trying to dodge around. If I find them too strong will fall back in the direction of Macon, advising you of the fact. Have three brigades here, with all my artillery. McCulloch's brigade is 25 miles north of this. I think the enemy are fully posted of our movements, as several men [who had] been questioned by our scouts have run off and no doubt fully posted the enemy of our position, force, &c. I am ready to obey any orders you may give, and would like to be kept fully advised of your position, &c., and if the enemy is too strong will so move as to be enabled, with the assistance you may give, to meet and fight them. Have just learned that General Clark, or Governor Clark, has some ammunition, caliber .54. Cannot some of it-say 50,000 rounds-be sent up on hand-cars to Atresia? I can get along with that amount, having plenty for all other arms except the Austrian rifles and Sharps rifles. The ammunition, I understand, is at Macon or Columbus. Have an operator with me, and think it would be well to open telegraphic communication with you. Will send my operator to Atresia to-night to fit up an office at that place. If you can establish an office it will greatly facilitate communication.
And I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. B. FORREST,
Starkville, Miss., February 26, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 20th instant, and am under many obligations for the ordnance stores and train sent to Gainesville. I am also gratified at being able to say that your wishes in regard to the enemy's forces under Generals Smith and Grierson are realized-at least to the extent of defeat and utter rout. We met them on Sunday morning last at Ellis' Bridge, or Sakatonchee Creek, 3 miles south of West Point, in front of which Colonel Forrest's brigade was posted to prevent the enemy from crossing. After a brisk engagement of an hour and a half the enemy retired toward West Point. It was not my intention to attack them or bring on a general engagement, but to develop their strength, position, and movements. I moved forward with my escort and a portion of Faulkner's Kentucky regiment and found the enemy had begun a systematic retreat, and being unwilling they should leave the country without a fight, ordered the advance of my column. Will forward a detailed official report as soon as reports from brigade commanders are received.
It is sufficient for me to say here that with 2,500 men the enemy, numbering from 6,000 to 7,000 strong, were driven from West Point to within 10 miles of Pontotoc in two days. All his efforts to check our advance failed, and his forces at last fled utterly defeated and demoralized, leaving 6 pieces of artillery, 100 killed, over 100 prisoners, and wounded estimated at 300 or over. The seriously wounded, about 50 in number, fell into our hands. They took in their retreat every carriage, buggy, cart, and wagon along the road to remove