[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
DECATUR AND MERIDIAN ROAD,
At Crossing of Chunky Road, February 12, 1864 - 10.45 a. m.
Major General W. W. LORING:
GENERAL: The enemy are advancing from Decatur. I shall skirmish with them here and all the way back. Please send me Croft's battery and a wagon load of ammunition. My ordnance officer has written a note for the kinds needed. I have also sent to wagon train to have provisions cooked and sent me. Please order all serviceable men and horses to come with or follow Croft's battery.
S. W. FERGUSON,
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
DECATUR AND MERIDIAN [ROAD],
At Crossing of Chunky Road, February 12, 1864 - 11.30 a. m.
GENERAL: A dispatch from Major Nicholson, of your staff, just received. I have taken a position here strong enough to develop the advance of the enemy pretty well, and am momentarily awaiting attack to commence, as my scouts were fired on more than an hour ago 30 miles west of this. I have sent a company under an officer well acquainted with the country to the road you kant mention of leading to Marion, with orders to watch it and scout as far as Decatur. The enemy are either advancing on this road or have turned off toward Newton Station or Garlandville, in which case General Lee is in front of them. I have made such long marches that the reports of my scouts are often of necessity long in reaching me.
S. W. FERGUSON,
12.15 P. M.
S. W. F.
MERIDIAN, February 12, 1864.
GENERAL: I am in receipt of your dispatch by Lieutenant Mathews, covering one from General Ferguson of 10.45 a. m.; also another by courier of 11.30, both stating an advance of the enemy. It has not been my intention to brig on an engagement with the enemy, the disparity of forces being too great to justify it. It has been of great importance to remove all the public stores here and at other points along the Mobile and Ohio Railroad beyond the enemy's reach, for which we have wanted all the time we could get. Your former dispatches left it in doubt whether the enemy was following on your road, and you were halted at your present position as well to enable me to remove everything ahead of you as to avail of your aid in checking him should it be necessary. I find I have succeeded in clearing the front sooner than I feared. All the stores will have been removed by the afternoon of to-morrow or earlier. I desire