War of the Rebellion: Serial 058 Page 0757 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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MACON, MISS., February 17, 1864.

Brigadier-General RUGGLES:

Just received following by courier:

HEADQUARTERS TEXAS BRIGADE, JACKSON'S CAVALRY DIVISION,

Daleville, February 17, 1864.

Operator at Macon, Miss.:

There is a force of Federal cavalry now at Lauderdale Springs which may move on up the railroad toward Columbus. Brigadier-General Ross directs me to notify you of the fact, and to inform you that he is watching it, and will pursue as rapidly as possible. If it should move as he anticipates, he desires, therefore, that you will request a party of citizens to take possession of the bridge over Noxubee [Okanoxubee] River and destroy it if the enemy approaches, so as to retard them as much as possible. Obstructions thrown in their way will not interfere with us, as the general designs keeping up the west side of the railroad until he can get in front of the enemy. Notify whatever forces are above of the approach of the enemy, so that they may be prepared to resist them.

Respectfully, &c., your obedient servant,

D. R. GURLEY,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

J. R. C[ARVER],

Operator.

WEST POINT, February 17, 1864.

Brigadier-General RUGGLES:

My scout has returned. The body of the enemy at 1 p. m. yesterday were north of Pontotoc, scouting heavily in direction of Verona and Okolona. Force variously estimated from 3,000 to 6,000. Chalmers' and McCulloch's brigades passed through Houston 3 p. m. yesterday in direction of Pontotoc. General Gholson 17 miles north of Houston at 1 o'clock yesterday. Captain Williams, who commanded my scouting party, is a prudent and reliable officer. He was north of Houston yesterday evening. It is his opinion that the enemy will strike the railroad between Verona and Okolona, and move down by Egypt and turn west, passing between this place and Starkville, turning to the railroad south of Tibbee to rejoin their forces below. General Forrest 25 miles northwest of Houston 11 o'clock yesterday. The facts given are reliable; the opinion entitled to much weight. Please show this to Governor Clark.

I. HARRISON,

Colonel.

WEST POINT, February 17, 1864.

Brigadier-General RUGGLES:

From General Chalmers, through Colonel Forrest, I learn the enemy is near Pontotoc moving east, Chalmers watching him. Chalmers at Houston.

I. HARRISON,

Colonel.

COLUMBIA, MISS., February 17, 1864-9 p. m.

Lieutenant-General POLK (care Major Paxton):

The enemy, between 3,000 and 4,000 strong, were near Pontotoc this morning. Forrest's forces were holding them under observation. The force moving from Memphis toward West Point is of