battle and replied. I consider this well, as the enemy has at least two full corps and about 1,600 cavalry. Will cover Jackson to allow you to withdraw and move toward Canton till assured that Loring is over. I then desire to operate in the rear of enemy unless ordered to cross Pearl River. The enemy have twenty days' rations. Ask General Loring to send me orders. Will check enemy here. I propose, if the enemy continue to move forward to-day and to drive me, to move toward Canton, bringing one brigade through Jackson. Will not fight at Jackson unless you consider it necessary. Please inform Loring if he is at Canton; if not, send this note or a copy to him.
S. D. LEE,
MOBILE, February 5, 1864.
Continue the work vigorously. I am sending you help. I leave for Meridian this evening.
CANTON, February 5, 1864.
I now leave for Madison Station. Dispatch me at this place; also, if you have any important information send courier to meet me at Madison Station.
W. W. LORING,
MERIDIAN, February 5, 1864.
Quarles' brigade has been ordered to report to you at Jackson. Will reach there to-morrow.
T. M. JACK,
February 5, 1864 - 4 p. m.
General Loring desires me to telegraph his intentions. He will cross above and move toward Morton. I am to cross here and move east. All stores are removed from Jackson. I do not think I shall leave here before morning. General Lee will remain west of the river to operate on the flank and rear. Loring is at Madison Station. The enemy is now this side of Clinton, advancing slowly in line of battle with two corps.
S. G. FRENCH,