War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0361 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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Decatur in half hour to attack enemy this evening, as he evinces no disposition as yet to cut Mobile and Ohio Railroad. Leave operator here.

S. D. LEE,

Major-General.

Lieutenant-General POLK,

NEWTON, February 12, 1864.

The enemy commenced moving through Decatur early this morning. Are now moving to that point.

S. D. LEE,

Major-General.

General POLK.

NEWTON, February 12, 1864.

Made a dash at the enemy at Decatur this p.m. Their column was well closed and guarded. About twenty-wagons disabled by the mules being killed. Could not bring them off. The enemy advanced in line five minutes after the dash. About 8 men were killed and wounded. Will move between him and Chunky's to-morrow. The enemy were in Decatur at dark. They commenced to pass at daylight this morning. Adams and Starke together number only 1,300 men, effective.

S. D. LEE,

Major-General.

Lieutenant-General POLK,

FIVE MILES ABOVE NEWTON,

February 13, 1864-8 a.m.

Your dispatch of 5 a.m. received. Looking at the map, I could not get between the enemy and Mobile and Ohio Railroad above Meridian in time to prevent their striking the railroad if they intend it, as their rear is now in Decatur and their advance must be 15 miles beyond. I do not credit the report of Major Steede. Their force is on the Decatur and Meridian road. Will endeavor to execute your order by moving south of the Decatur and Meridian road and cross in front of enemy if necessary. Will move at once to a point just north of Chunky's Station. Please send orders there. Will have office at Newton kept open two hours to receive any dispatch from you. You can reach Ferguson more promptly than I can. He could watch above..

S. D. LEE,

Major-General.

Lieutenant-General POLK.

FIVE MILES NORTH OF NEWTON,

February 13, 1864-8 a.m.

The enemy had a strong picket out from Decatur last night to-ward Newton, and were firing volleys at imaginary objects all night.