War of the Rebellion: Serial 058 Page 0732 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLIV.

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HEADQUARTERS,

Meridian, February 13, 1864.

Major-General LORING,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: Yours of 10 p. m. received. I am including to doubt the correctness of the reports as to the near approach of the enemy to-night, yet I see no reason why you may not act upon it. As I understand the matter, the enemy has to pass across Oktibbeha River at the place where there is a long bridge now prepared to be burned. The burning of the bridge ought to regard his progress at least a day; still you may begin your movement to the rear at any hour you may think the character of the country from your present position this way make expedient. I think by 2 p. m. to-morrow all the engines will have passed. Advise General Ferguson that I have a dispatch from General Lee stating that he will endeavor to be on the enemy's flank near this [place in the morning.

Respectfully,

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

P. S.- From the explanation of your engineer I think General Ferguson should mass the greater part of his force on the two lower roads at the bridges, and put a strong guard at the upper.

L. P.

HEADQUARTERS,

Meridian, February 13, 1864.

Major-General LORING:

GENERAL: Please send the inclosed forward to General Ferguson. I send back Captain Jones to obstruct a route pointed out by your engineer, Captain Vernon. I inclose a report* from Colonel Scott, First Louisiana, who I sent out this morning with a scouting party to obtain information of enemy on roads, which you wrote, mentioned by Steede. I think, nevertheless, that a scouting party should be kept on that flank, and I desire you would say so to General Ferguson. General Lee writes me he is 4 miles north of Chunky, so that he is watching the right flank. If it be possible, I should like to have the enemy kept off from the Mobile and Ohio Railroad until to-morrow evening, by which time the last of the trains with supplies which have been accumulated above will have passed down, and from what I hear from the officer (Captain Jones) who has been obstructing the roads, burning bridges, &c., this may be done without incurring risk of an engagement. I do not wish to leave either subsistence or trains behind. Everything else is clear before you. French is held to support you should it be necessary. I am just in receipt of your at 2.30 p. m. Your quartermaster applied for orders, and was sent forward on the road by which you are to march - that is, via Alamutche, Gaston, and Moscow, on the Tombigbee, then across. I have given Captain Vernon your orders, as desired.

Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

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* Not found.

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