War of the Rebellion: Serial 058 Page 0729 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- CONFEDERATE.

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RICHMOND, February 13, 1864.

(Received 15th.)

Lieutenant General L. POLK:

Have received nothing from you since dispatch of 9th in reference to movements in Mississippi. Heard to-day from Montgomery that enemy has struck across to Enterprise and is evidently moving on Mobile. It is needless to call attention to the importance of striking him on the march, impeding his progress, and preventing him from using surplus supplies on his route. He should be met, if possible, before he reaches the Gulf and established a base to which supplies and re-enforcements may be sent.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

DALTON, February 13, 1864.

His Excellency the PRESIDENT:

Your dispatch of 11th received and answered that night. General Polk reports to-day from Meridian that the enemy, 35,000 strong, is a Decatur. General Lee's cavalry near, procuring little effect. Five brigades of infantry with General Polk. He intends to fall back on Alabama. If the enemy is marching on Mobile it will be impossible for us to strike him before he establishes a new base. Such an expedition would require two-thirds of this army, which, of course, would involve abandonment of this line. I have suggested to General Polk that his cavalry under General Lee ought to be able to prevent the march to Mobile. General Polk reports Twelfth Army Corps on its way from Chattanooga to Mississippi. Our scouts report that no troops have left Federal Army of the Tennessee except on furlough.

J. E. JOHNSTON.

[First indorsement.]

FEBRUARY 14, 1864.

Respectfully referred, by direction of the President, to the Adjutant and Inspector General, who will confer with the honorable Secretary of War relative to the contents.

BURTON N. HARRISON,

Private Secretary.

[Second indorsement.]

FEBRUARY 14, 1864.

respectfully sent to Secretary of War.

I will report to the Secretary to-morrow on the subject.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

MERIDIAN, February 13, 1864.

General J. E. JOHNSTON,

Dalton, Ga.:

Enemy's forces, estimated at 35,000, left Vicksburg, as I learned, in two columns - one on Jackson, other on Yazoo City. To meet