War of the Rebellion: Serial 058 Page 0689 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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raid across Mississippi State to strike the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. He will put himself in communication with other companies lying in the intervening country for the same purpose. These are instructed in case of such a movement to follow it and apprise Colonel Maury of its approach. It may be a work of supererogation, but it is well to use all proper precaution. I direct also that stockades shall be built at the important bridges where guards are stationed. I have also to suggest the expediency of your having an eye upon the steamers that ply in the river above Mobile as means of transporting troops down the Tombigbee from Demopolis, in case, against all calculation, the railroad should be broken up. These boats are numerous enough to do the work in ample time if availed of. I find the officer in charge of the guards at Red Bluff bridge, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, has been made uneasy by the messages he has received from those deserters, & c., in Jones County, that they propose to burn the bridges on that road. I advise that Colonel Maury proceed without delay on his expedition against them. He will find 500 men ample for his work; but he cannot do it on horseback; he must dismount his men, and artillery will be of no service. His best place to proceed to is Winchester, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, where I have ordered a half a dozen guides to be sent to meet him and report to him. These are men whose houses have been burned by them, and whose families have been insulted. They are soldiers from Enterprise and are anxious to join the expedition and make thorough work of it. If the colonel cannot get forage in that country (as he cannot) for his horses he had better order it down to Winchester and press wagons to haul it out to where he will leave his horses. My orders are that as these men have become a lawless banditti, having murdered a conscripting officer and several of the peaceable citizens and plundered them, as well as burned their houses, they be dealt with in the most summary manner, and I intrust this duty to the colonel because I believe he will accomplish it satisfactorily. No time should be lost.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS,

Cullum's, February 7, 1864.

Major-General FRENCH,

(Through Major General W. W. Loring, Morton):

I have relieved the squadron of cavalry under Captain Herren, now operating for you, and directed it to report to its regiment. I did this on account of having sent one of my regiments, under charge of Colonel Maxwell, to operate in the same section of country, and the regiment to which it belongs being on this side. I was in hopes Wilbourn's regiment would have been together ere this, when General Loring would have had a sufficient cavalry force with him, and am in hopes yet that he will have their services in a day or two.

Very respectfully,

S. D. LEE,

Major-General.

44 R R - VOL XXXII, PT II