send you a regiment, as Wilbourn's regiment is at Brandon and I sent a squadron to General French. I will change the route of the trains to Morton, and will come to your assistance if the enemy pursue you. He has two full corps, numbering 25,000 or 30,000 men, so all the prisoners state, and my observation confirms it. They have a pontoon train. I will try and protect the Central road and the country from cavalry raids, and as soon as a little rested will move to the rear of enemy as the cavalry is coming in on this route. Infantry is also reported as coming in this direction behind their cavalry. There are exaggerated reports as to my loss yesterday. My men did good fighting but was compelled to withdraw a brigade rapidly, separating it from me in front, which gave rise to the rumor. My loss, so far is about 130 killed and wounded. The infantry of [the] enemy entered the city with my rear guard at dark. I lost one piece of artillery which was moving to the rear for ammunition, and captured by a regiment of cavalry about dark. Please inform General Polk. Heavy firing on Yazoo yesterday. Have not heard from Ross.
S. D. LEE,
HDQRS. ON ROAD, 25 MILES FROM GARLANDVILLE,
February 10, 1864-12 m.
GENERAL: Your dispatch of yesterday morning relative to covering the Mobile and Ohio Railroad was received last night at 9 p.m., and I started with two brigades at 1 a.m. Ferguson has one-half of the cavalry in front of the enemy, and can cover Hillsborough and Newton and watch the railroad near Meridian. I will be near Garlandville to-night. Am now feeding and resting for two hours. I have no cavalry in rear of enemy now. Ross ought to be up, in three days. I think I will order him to remain in rear on the railroad. Regret you were not able to fight this single column, as I fear there will be two at Mobile. The intention of the enemy, I think, is to go to Meridian first. He may then turn toward Mobile (but I doubt it) soon after he reaches Meridian. I think a large column of cavalry is coming down the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, which will unite with Sherman at Meridian. There is little opportunity to do much with the enemy on the march. He moves in perfect order, with every precaution. Each brigade has its train behind it, and flankers out. A battery accompanies each brigade, and they have a large amount of artillery. Their force certainly does not exceed 30,000. Lieutenant Harvey, my most reliable scout, who has been watching them since leaving Big Black, thinks it does not exceed 25,000. I would like to know your wishes in regard to my cavalry. Should the enemy move toward Mobile, there will be great difficulty in subsisting it. The enemy have destroyed the railroad wherever it has been convenient for them. Jackson came from Brandon yesterday to Pelahatchie. Picked up some prisoners-6 deserters from our army going with Yankee passes.
S. D. LEE,