MERIDIAN, February 13, 1864 - 10.15 p. m.
I think you had better come on yourself to Meridian to-night, as I desire to see you. Come directs to my quarters. you may also order your command to follow you,a nd if there is any road by which it may turn to the left and strike the Meridian and Decatur road west of Meridian, so as to get in between the enemy and Meridian, order it to do so. General Loring is at a position 5 miles out on the Decatur road. Dr. Hicks has arrived, delivered your dispatch, and was on the eve of returning. I have detained him until your arrival. You may make a detail of men to proceed up toward Columbus and Aberdeen to impress horses - as many as you need.
February 13, 1864 - between 11 and 12 o'clock.
GENERAL: An officer just from General Ferguson reports that the enemy up to sundown were advancing, a force having driven him (Ferguson) back; that he was skirmishing with him and withdrawing regiment after regiment; had then formed Perrin's regiment. They were at the time of this report at the Big Mountain.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. LORING,
MOBILE, February 13, 1864.
I have about 5,500 effective infantry. have no need for another brigade commander.
D. M. MAURY,
MERIDIAN, February 13, 1864.
the enemy's column, 30,000 strong, has continued to move steadily forward since he crossed Pearl River. All information received from every quarter led to the impression, after passing Brandon, he intended to move on Mobile. If it was ever his intention to do so from that point he abandoned it, and has been moving since leaving Morton on Meridian. His progress has been impeded and columns harassed. My force of infantry, which consists of about 8,500, has been falling back as he advanced. I have held him in check until I can remove all my hospitals, commissary, and quartermaster's stores from all my depots. He may reach the railroad to-morrow or the nest day. The whole of the rolling-stock of the