HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE,
Waverly, February 21, 1864-2 a. m.
[Captain R. M. HOOE:]
Your dispatch of 20th received. I will move from here by daylight to the Aberdeen and West Point road. I cannot believe that the force of the enemy exceed 3,000, and certainly can be all bagged by proper co-operation of forces. I fear he is already retreating, for scouts report wagon train moving rapidly back northward. I see from a courier from General Forrest's headquarters that he is expected at Columbus, probably apprehensive of the enemy moving away to our extreme right. No such movement is yet indicated, yet possibly might take place, as I have been so late in intercepting his rear. Is it practicable, however, for a force to be thrown up the river on the east side opposite Aberdeen? If such were done a small command could keep him from crossing, as the enemy has no pontoons. As my command is now nearly all on this side the river, I will do the best I can to head the enemy and aid in his capture, which I feel confident can be done. The enemy is not too strong for our forces if they all do their duty.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. R. BARTEAU,
February 21, 1864-1.15 p. m.
Notify me here and at Artesia about the attack at Waverly; whether it is a demonstration or real attack. I think it is a feint, and am of the impression that Forrest thinks the main force is in his front.
S. D. LEE,
SEVEN MILES NORTH OF WEST POINT,
[February 21, 1864]-2.30 p. m.
GENERAL: The enemy are evidently moving up Sakatouchee. They are moving up the railroad and are retreating. I will move on and keep you posted. Send a line of couriers after me to carry dispatches to you. They are now halted in a swamp in front of us, 1 mile south of John A. Walker's.
N. B. FORREST,
P. S.- Colonel Barteau with his brigade is across the Tombigbee moving parallel with the enemy. Move Richardson and General Gholson up the river toward Houston, to prevent enemy crossing Sakatouchee.
N. B. F.