War of the Rebellion: Serial 058 Page 0781 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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DEMOPOLIS, February 20, 1864.

Lieutenant-General HARDEE,

Montgomery, Ala.:

The direction of the enemy from Meridian is not yet determined. As it may be toward Selma, it is of importance that your troops should be here as soon as practicable. I am providing transportation for you as far as possible, but refer you to my dispatch on that subject of yesterday.

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

DEMOPOLIS, February 20, 1864.

Major General S. D. LEE,

In the Field:

GENERAL: I am in receipt of yours of the 19th, 8 miles east of Lauderdale. I send this reply both by wire to York Station and by courier. Have just heard from General Forrest. He is before this at West Point and ahead of the enemy. Colonel Samuel Tate, who has just arrived from his headquarters, represents him in the highest spirits and perfectly confident with your help of crushing the column before you. Gholson, with his Mississippians, and Ruggles, with all the detached companies around Columbus and two or more regiments of infantry, which I ordered mounted, will co-operate with you. It is of great importance you should have a meeting with Forrest before the attack. Urge all the people of the country through which you pass to mount and take the field against that column. Let them form companies or join those already with you, if for only temporary service. Let them ambuscade the enemy and assail him in bodies or singly. It is of the highest importance that the Grierson command should be crushed. I am to receive re-enforcements, and shall assume the offensive at the earliest moment. The most important results hang on your success against that column. I have had your ordnance train fitted out complete with a fresh set of teams and sent forward to you to-day to the points where your ordered it. Keep me well advised by both the wires and couriers. I have a line of couriers from Gainesville to this place, which i shall keep up; also the wires working from this along the line of the Meridian road to York Station.

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

DEMOPOLIS, February 20, 1864.

General MAURY,

Mobile:

Enemy's cavalry column at Aberdeen about 10,000 strong. Lee and Forrest are between it and Sherman's infantry, at Meridian. They are under orders to unite and attack it, and are in easy supporting distance. No movement from Meridian. They have torn up the railroad track about 10 miles out.

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

(Same to General Johnston, at Dalton.)