War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0379 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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The Yankee cavalry charged these squadrons twice, but were handsomely repulsed. I am unacquainted with the country between this place and Meridian, and hence cannot determine whether I shall require any more guns than the ones you will send me. I leave this matter to your better judgment. Is there any cavalry guarding the road to Enterprise? Let me know. The road turns off at this place and goes by Chunky's Station. Where is General Lee?

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. W. FERGUSON,

Brigadier-General.

Major General W. W. LORING,

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY BRIGADE,

Calhoun Station, March 31, 1864

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the cavalry under my command from January 28 to the present time:

On January 26, in obedience to telegraphic orders received late at night, the Second Tennessee Battalion, my brigade, was ordered to report to Major-General Forrest. The Twelfth Battalion Mississippi Cavalry, then on a scout to the line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, was recalled, and the commanding officer directed to join me at Jackson by the most direct route. Owen's battery was ordered from Aberdeen to Egypt Station, at which point its guns and baggage and the baggage of the balance of the brigade were shipped to Jackson in charge of the dismounted men and the sick.

On January 28, having relieved myself of every incumbrance, I broke camp and marched with my command for Jackson, but on reaching Canton (February 3) in obedience to telegraphic orders there received, I moved rapidly to Clinton to meet the advancing columns of the enemy, sending artillery horses and horses of men who came by cars direct to Jackson.

On the morning after I reached Clinton (February 5,) with a command very much reduced in numbers, the enemy approached that place, and I received orders to fall back so as to cover the roads to Canton and Madison Station, which I at once obeyed. I remained in line of battle covering these roads in sight of the enemy until near sunset when I withdrew my command some 8 miles and went into camp for the night.

On the following morning, I marched to Madison Station, where I remained during that and the following days. From this point that portion of Miller's regiment in camp was sent on a reconnaissance to Jackson, which duty was promptly and efficiently accomplished. This command did not rejoin me until February 14.

At daylight on the 8th ultimo, I marched for Morton, crossing Pearl River at Smith's Ferry, and reached that point with the advance of my column by sunrise the next day. The enemy was, however, ahead of me, and skirmishing at once began and was continued until the volleys of musketry and the presence of infantry in some force satisfied me that it was impossible to get between him and General Polk's rear. Accordingly I withdrew my command, leaving a squadron on the Morton road to cover the movement, and proceeded by the most direct road to Hillsborough. At this point I found General Polk, and was directed to ascertain, first, whether or not the enemy was advancing in force on Hillsborough from nearest rail-