War of the Rebellion: Serial 058 Page 0685 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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those who are there out. The rest of your command you should keep with you, and keep them well in hand for operations in Mississippi and Alabama, if it should be necessary. The enemy are reported to have entered Jackson last night at sunset. I have just returned from Mobile. I inspected the defenses and found I could take off from there for the emergency now in my front a force which could be spared. Lieutenant Otey will explain more fully. I telegraphed directing you to move down with the greater part of your force to Grenada, and to hold yourself in readiness to co-operate with Generals Loring and Lee. This I suppose you have done. I have not heard whether any of the enemy's forces have gone to the Yazoo, and desire to know what he is attempting in that direction. You will unite with General Lee in cutting up his line of communications and subsistence from Vicksburg and Jackson, provided you are not yourself pressed from the direction of Tennessee. I desire to repeat that I regard it as of the highest importance for you to keep yourself in communication with General Lee, and to unite with him in attacking and cutting up the enemy's supply trains, so as to force him back to the Mississippi River. If you are not too much pressed from Tennessee I am sure you can do this, and it is of the first importance to me. I send Lieutenant Otey with one of those cipher boxes to instruct your officer. He has instructions also to establish from West Point to Grenada a line of couriers, by which you can communicate with me. He will explain it to you. If you like other points better change them, but let me hear from you every twelve hours at farthest, and oftener if necessary.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

OXFORD, February 6, 1864.

Brigadier-General CHALMERS:

Scouts report a force of the enemy moving from Colliersville toward Holly Springs. Keep scouts well to the front. Stop Colonel Forrest at Oakland. Order him to keep five days' rations on hand. Send all extra baggage to Grenada.

N. B. FORREST,

Major-General.

OXFORD, February 6, 1864.

Brigadier-General CHALMERS:

Halt Colonel Forrest's command at Oakland, with instructions to remain there until further notice. If you have not already a sufficient scout, send 20 reliable men well to your front to watch the enemy should he attempt to move.

N. B. FORREST,

Major-General.

SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS,

Meridian, Miss., February 6, 1864.

Numbers 37.

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V. All that portion of the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana lying within the State of Alabama and north of