War of the Rebellion: Serial 058 Page 0639 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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it had settled as a line of defense, nor had I heard of such a line through any other channel, though I had heard of the existence of works at the points mentioned in your letter. From my knowledge of the topography of the whole region, I am still of the opinion that the place at which defensive works for the protection of the interior should be executed is below the junction of the Tombigbee River. Colonel Weldon, the person to whom this work was intrusted, I found reporting to General Johnston at the time I took charge of the department. He was commended to me by the general in strong terms as eminently suitable for the kind of work for which he was employed. I have no personal knowledge of him, but find the opinion of the general supported by many of the most intelligent and reliable personal with whom I have since met. I propose visiting Mobile on Tuesday or Wednesday next, when I shall have an opportunity of examining the existing and proposed system of defense for the city and above.

I remain, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

MERIDIAN, January 31, 1864.

General FORREST, Como:

If enemy does not move on you in large force and he is moving on Loring in large fore, you must prepare to send a portion of your force down to Loring to give him support.

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

MERIDIAN, January 31, 1864.

General LEE,

Jackson:

In answer to General Ross' inquiry in his report, I have to say that if the enemy should come out in force I think you had better authorize him to press all the horses of the country which will fall into their hands, as they will certainly be pressed by the enemy.

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

MERIDIAN, MISS., January 31, 1864.

General LORING,

Canton:

I have telegraphed to Jackson to know where the transportation you sent for has gone to. You shall have it.

Forrest says La Grange is evacuated but reports at same time that enemy are reported advancing on him from Collierville. This may make it impossible for him to send down to you any part of his force. If he can spare it, it will be sent. I have ordered the pontoon-boats for Cullum's Ferry. Can you not send out and press negroes on east side Pearl River to hasten the completion of the trestles? This may become necessary.

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.