He knew that Smith's cavalry was preparing to move some time before it did move.
On the 8th two infantry columns moved--one on Panola and the other on Wyatt — and on the 9th, one day before the cavalry started, Forrest, then at Oxford, telegraphed Chalmers, at Panola, to skirmish with the infantry, but that this was a February 26th, 1864, by letter to General Sherman in person, he says: I moved the infantry brigade temporarily assigned to my command, first on Panola and then on Wyatt, and drew Forrest's forces and attention to those points, while I threw my whole force to New Albany, where I crossed the Tallahatchie river without opposition.
Fre and not expected there?
Why order Smith to move through East Mississippi when Forrest was in West Mississippi?
Why send infantry to make a feint on Panola and Wyatt, when Smith was moving for Pontotoc one hundred miles east of Panola?
And lastly, if Smith was sent out especially to destroy Forrest, why does Sherman say, I to