fallen back and only a few of his pickets in sight. Our cavalry has advanced a mile out beyond their new camp. The enemy came up first within about 400 yards of the old camp on the north side of the creek, but fell back as soon as ours advanced. General Crocker's division is up with the exception of the regiment which went to Madisonville yesterday, and will encamp so as to cover the Shoccoe and Ratliff's Ferry roads.
JAS. B. McPHERSON,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE
Vicksburg, Miss., February 28, 1864
Brigadier General R. P. BUCKLAND,
Commanding District of Memphis, Memphis, Tenn.:
DEAR GENERAL: I reached Meridian February 14, and spent a week there in destroying the railroad in every direction in the most complete manner. Meridian is utterly destroyed on Polk's army driven across the Tombigbee, but I could hear nothing of Sooy Smith. The time appointed for him was the 10th. The weather was all that could be expected and roads fine. I waited for him till the 20th and then marched north a day, and at Union I sent cavalry 60 miles, and got on tidings of him. We returned to Canton, where I left the army yesterday in fine health and spirits. I have ordered it to remain there till March 3, and still if no news of Smith to come in, for on the 7th I must embark Hurlbut's command for Shreveport. I have seen in a newspaper that General Smith did not leave Memphis till the 11th. I cannot believe it possible, for his orders were to be at Meridian on the 10th, and it will be a novel thing in war if infantry has to await the motions of cavalry. Had General Smith been there with 5,000 men at the appointed day we would have utterly destroyed Polk's army. As it was it got across the Tombigbee on the 17th, and I confined my operations to destroying the railroad, and thoroughly and well. Now General Smith may have to fight Forrest and Lee, whereas up to the 20th I had Lee busily employed. My movement cleared Mississippi at one swoop, and with the railroad thus destroyed the Confederacy cannot maintain an army save cavalry west of Tombigbee. A similar blow at Shreveport, and then the valley of the Mississippi, is forever ours. If you can communicate with Generals Smith or Grierson let them know that they are now on an independent expedition planned by themselves and not by me. I necessarily feel uneasy about that command. Everything with my command was successful in the highest degree. I hasten down to see General Banks, to return in time to embark the force expected for me for Red River on the 7th. My expedition up Yazoo has also been successful.
Yours, in haste.
W. T. SHERMAN,
MEMPHIS, TENN., February 28, 1864
Colonel L. F. McCRILLIS, Germantown, Tenn.:
You will turn over the command of the cavalry brought over by General Smith to Lieutenant-Colonel Thornburgh, as they are or-