OXFORD, February 11, 1864.
Move everything here except Colonel Charmers' battalion and his transportation.
N. B. FORREST,
MERIDIAN, February 12, 1864 - 1 a. m.
General LEE, Newton:
Your dispatch received with regard to offering battle. Will answer by courier.
Near Chunky Creek, on Marion Road, Feb. 12, 1864 - 3 a. m.
GENERAL: I reached this point last night about 11 p. m., having marched from Newton Station. On reaching this point I sent out a scout toward Decatur, who proceeded to within 1 1/2 miles of that place, and was prevented from going farther on account of the bridge over the creek being burned. The enemy was reported near Decatur, though I have no definite information of his having reached that place. Scouts sent out * * * have not yet reported. The impression now seems to be that he will move from Hillsborough toward Garlandville. General Lee is between Garlandville and Newton Station. The Yankee cavalry was reported at Lake Station yesterday evening. I endeavored to communicate with you last night, but Colonel Maxwell's pickets fired on my couriers and men several times. I found Colonel Maxwell 11 miles from the enemy with the bridges in front of him destroyed. General Lee directs me to relieve Colonel Maxwell.
S. W. FERGUSON,
In Field, February 12, 1864.
General POLK, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit herewith two dispatches from the front. I send them to correct a false alarm caused by Colonel Maxwell's vedettes firing into scouting party of General Ferguson. I am 14 miles from Meridian, in a strong position.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. LORING,
P. S.- I see that the papers are finding fault. If necessary I will come out with a statement showing that you did all you could with the force you have.
W. W. L.