War of the Rebellion: Serial 058 Page 0694 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLIV.

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HEADQUARTERS LORING'S DIVISION,

On the Road from Morton, February 8, 1864 - 10.20 a. m.

General S. D. LEE, Commanding Cavalry:

GENERAL: Scouts from the front represent the enemy advancing in force upon the three roads leading to Morton. Our cavalry force is so very small that it is all-important you should have a force in their front and attack them in flank and rear. I shall meet the enemy near Morton somewhere.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. LORING,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS LORING'S DIVISION,

On the Road to Brandon, 6 Miles from Morton,

February 8, 1864.

Major General S. D. LEE, Commanding Cavalry:

GENERAL: I send you herewith a copy of a letter just received.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. LORING,

Major-General.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS, In the Field, February 8, 1864 - 9 a. m.

GENERAL: A scout belonging to Lieutenant Harvey's company has just come in and reports the following: McPherson's Seventeenth Army Corps passed through Clinton on Friday evening, organization as follows: First Division, composed of three brigades, each having four regiments and six pieces of artillery. Second Division - First Brigade, four regiments and battery of two pieces, signal corps, and long wagon train, three regiments of cavalry; Second Brigade, four regiments, battery of four pieces; Third Brigade, four regiments and battery of six pieces; Fourth Brigade, two regiments and long wagon train. Sixteenth Army Corps passed the Brownsville road. The cavalry passed near Raymond. First Brigade (number of regiments unknown) passed Clinton at night. Scout thinks that regiments averaged about 400 each, and entire force about 25,000 or 30,000. The portion of the command that came to Brandon crossed the river very early yesterday morning; heard drums beating at Jackson after they left; satisfied a portion of the force still there. The force that crossed the river was infantry, artillery, and small force of cavalry. Only a small force he thinks left Brandon yesterday evening; came out 3 1/2 or 4 miles.

Very respectfully,

M. D. ECTOR,

Brigadier-General.

LAKE, February 8, 1864 - 11.15 p. m.

Major-General MAURY, Mobile:

I advise as a measure of precaution that you send boats up to Demopolis to take troops down in case the railroad should be broken up. I think the enemy will attempt this, as he has moved in force across Pearl River with the evident intention to do so.

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.