Meridian, February 8, 1864.
GENERAL: Under instructions from the lieutenant-general commanding I this day send your orders placing the troops at Enterprise in a single brigade, to be commanded by Brigadier-General Shoup, and directing the brigade to be moved to Morton as soon as it is fitted for the field. Let me know by telegraph how much transportation will be needed for this purpose, and when. The lieutenant-general commanding wishes you to report for duty at these headquarters as soon as Shoup's brigade shall have been properly disposed of. In view of the emergency upon us it is his expectation to give you a command in the field. It would be well for you before leaving Enterprise to confide the command of any troops that may be left there to some efficient and reliable field officer, to be charged by you with all the proper duties connected with that command. There is a company of the Forty-third Mississippi Regiment attached to Colonel Holland's command. In view of the fact that the Forty-third Mississippi Regiment is being equipped for the field at Columbus, it is suggested that this company might be left for the present at Enterprise to await orders and used for post duty. You will please notify me of the disposition made of this company in order that the proper orders may be given it hereafter.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
THOS. M. JACK,
LAKE, February 8, 1864 - 12 at night.
I have ordered the command of General Shoup, at Enterprise, to proceed to Mobile without delay. He must go from Enterprise, if possible, on the schedule, which leaves Meridian to-morrow evening. His equipments can follow him if he is not quite ready. He will take his battery. Send back to Mobile the whole of General Baldwin's brigade. That part which came from Meridian with me to-day goes back in the morning. The whole of that brigade must leave Meridian to-morrow evening (9th) certainly. You must have transportation at Morton at 6 a. m. on the 10th for 4,500 men and five batteries with their horses. Be punctual.
ON BRANDON ROAD, February 8, 1864.
GENERAL: Enemy's pickets 3 miles from Brandon and Homewood road; 2 miles from Brandon on Raleigh road; 4 miles from Brandon on Hillsborough road. I am advancing on Hillsborough road. Will engage them at the first place I meet them. The scout I sent you