War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0351 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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their killed and wounded officers, and all their slightly wounded, according to report of citizens were moved in front with their pack train.

Our loss is about 25 killed, 75 wounded, and probably 8 or 10 captured.

Among the killed are my brother, Colonel Jeff. E. Forrest, commanding brigade; Lieutenant-Colonel Barksdale, commanding George's regiment, and several other officers whose names are not now remembered.

It affords me pleasure to mention the fortitude and gallantry displayed by the troops engaged, especially the new troops from West Tennessee, who, considering their want of drill, discipline, and experience, behaved handsomely, and the moral effect of their victory over the best cavalry in the Federal service will tell in their future operations against the enemy, inspiring them with courage and confidence in their ability to whip them again. Considering the disparity in numbers, discipline, and drill, I consider it one of the most complete victories that have occurred since the war began.

After the enemy succeeded in reaching the hills between Okolona and Pontotoc, the resistance of the enemy was obstinate, compelling me frequently to dismount my advance to drive them from favorable positions defended by the broken condition of the country. About 300 men of the Second Tennessee Cavalry, under Colonel Barteau, and the Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, Colonel Duckworth, received the repeated charges of seven regiments of the enemy in open ground, drove them back time after time, finally driving them from the field, capturing three stand of colors and another piece of their artillery. A great deal of the fighting was almost hand to hand, and the only way I can account for our small loss is the fact that we kept so close to them that the enemy overshot our men. Owing to the broken down and exhausted condition of men and horses, and being almost out of ammunition, I was compelled to stop pursuit.

Major-General Gholson arrived during Monday night, and his command, being comparatively fresh, continued the pursuit, and when last heard from was still driving the enemy, capturing horses and prisoners. The enemy had crossed the Tallahatchie River on the night of the 23rd, burning the bridge behind them at New Albany and retreating rapidly toward Memphis, with Gholson still in pursuit. I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. B. FORREST,

Major-General

Lieutenant General L. POLK.

HEADQUARTERS FORREST'S CAVALRY DEPARTMENT.

Columbus, Miss., March 8, 1864,

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the movements and operations of my command against the Federal forces under command of General Smith, in the engagements of the 20th, 21st and 22nd ultimo:

Learning on the 14th ultimo, at Oxford, that the enemy was moving in heavy force in the direction of Pontotoc, and believing his destination to be the Prairies, and from thence a junction with Sherman, I withdrew all my forces from the Tallahatchie and Yazoo Rivers and moved rapidly to Starkville, which place I reached on the evening of the 18th ultimo.

On the 19th, the enemy were reported at Okolona, but his movements or intended course was not developed, and fearing he might