War of the Rebellion: Serial 058 Page 0388 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLIV.

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the railroad crossing toward Abbeville. First, I will push with all vigor for New Albany, and endeavor to throw the whole three brigades over. If the enemy makes a stand at or near New Albany, I shall still desire your co-operation. This can be secured most effectively by moving your brigade rapidly to the mouth of Tippah, and, leaving your train at that point or sending it back, be prepared to follow us around, or to throw your brigade over at that point in case the enemy lets go; second, or if you find it practicable to construct crossing that will answer for the whole command, at any point from which the road leading out on the other side is not easily commanded by the enemy, do so by all means, and throw your troops across, construct all the defensive works as a tete-de-pont that your limited supply of tools will permit, and communicate with me all haste. I can then more rapidly to the right, cross into a better country for forage, and secure a shorter route. I will join McCrillis' brigade to-day in the neighborhood of Boatwright's Mill, and move with it toward New Albany. Hepburn's brigade will make a crossing over Tippah at Callahan's Mills, where you can cross if the first plan is decided upon; and as the decision depends upon what you can do, if you cannot make the crossing below, you may move right up to neighborhood of the mouth of Tippah and threaten a crossing there. Take all the stock you can find.

Yours, truly,

WM. SOOY SMITH,

Brigadier General Chief of Cavalry, Mil. Div. of the Mississippi.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF MEMPHIS,

Memphis, February 13, 1864.

Colonel McMILLEN:

SIR: I have received a dispatch from General Sherman, dated at Jackson, Miss., February 6, in which he says:

I received General William Sooy Smith's dispatches of the 2nd instant to-night, and regret he was delayed, but trust started then and has made up his loss of time in speed. We left Vicksburg on the 3rd, and entered Jackson the night of the 5th, the heads of the two columns skirmishing all the way with two brigades of cavalry. We captured about 30 prisoners and 1 gun, killed about 20, and wounded at least 50, some of whom are left in houses by the roadside. Our loss is about 10 killed and 25 wounded. We cross Pearl River to-morrow. * * *

Keep the * * * brigade of infantry out in the direction of Panola as far as prudence will warrant. * * * In disposing of the force outside you should be governed by our knowledge as to General Smith's movement and its effect on Forrest's command. * * *.

We send you these extracts that you and General Smith (if you can communicate with him) may understand what General Sherman's ideas are as to what your movements should be. I, of course, not knowing the situation of General Smith's command, cannot judge as well as you can as to what you should do; I therefore leave the matter to your judgment. Whether you should move again toward Panola depends upon General Smith's movements. If you can communicate with General Smith you had better send him a copy of this. You will also on receipt of this send this party back with such information as you can give me in regard to General Smith's position and movements, and also your own and of the enemy. Keep me posted as well as you possibly can.

R. P. BUCKLAND,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.