War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0365 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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emy were quiet at Meridian and Old Marion. Will keep you well advised. Governor Clark has received your dispatch and is acting on it.

S. D. LEE,

Major-General.

Lieutenant-General POLK,

Demopolis, Ala.

HEADQUARTERS LEE'S CAVALRY.

Tuscaloosa, Ala., April 18, 1864

COLONEL: The following is submitted as my report of the operations of the cavalry under my command during the recent campaign in Mississippi:

During the latter part of January the enemy commenced to concentrate a large force at Vicksburg, bringing large re-enforcements from Memphis and above and evacuating the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. To oppose this force Jackson's division was in position as follows: Ross Texas brigade was guarding the Yazoo River and Mississippi Central Railroad, being posted at Benton; Starke's Mississippi brigade was at Brownsville watching the crossings of Big Black, opposite Vicksburg; Adam's brigade was moved from the vicinity of Natchez to Raymond.

About January 28, the enemy commenced their demonstrations up Yazoo River with their boats, and moved their cavalry up toward Mechanicsburg. These demonstrations continued daily to February 5, and were handsomely met by the gallant Texans under Ross, fighting their gun-boats and infantry and repulsing them on every occasion. At Liverpool two small regiments and a section of artillery of King's battery, under Lieutenant Moore, repulsed three large regiments, of infantry of the enemy supported by their gun-boats. The enemy charged in gallant style, and were repulsed twice, the second time the Texans using their six-shooters at 20 paces. The two regiments were the Sixth and Ninth Texas. The gun-boats and transports went down the Yazoo on the 5th, abandoning for a time any attempt to land troops.

On the evening of February 3, while these demonstrations were going on the Yazoo, the enemy commenced crossing the Big Black rapidly at the railroad bridge, and at Messinger's Ferry, 6 miles above. They advanced toward Clinton on the two roads from the two crossings, and on the 4th Adams' and Starke's brigade engaged them, and it was soon discovered, after heavy skirmishing that there was at least two corps of the enemy-one on each road. Their force was estimated at 20,000.

On the 5th, at dawn, the enemy advanced in heavy line of battle on both roads, and it was discovered by their developments and from prisoners that their army consisted of McPherson's and Hurlbut's corps and a brigade of cavalry, numbering in all about 26,000 men. The advance of the enemy was rapid, the open country enabling him to march his force with ease on several roads. The two brigades were steadily driven back to Jackson, where they arrived about dark.

Too much praise cannot be given officers and men for the gallant manner in which they fought this superior force, every man knowing by actual observation the strength of the enemy.

Jackson was occupied by the enemy on the morning of the 6th, my command having passed through the city the previous evening,