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[616] back Wirt Adams's cavalry and Cosby's, Logan's, and Whitman's brigades of infantry, until, finally, McPherson found himself confronted by a superior force, comprising Loring's division and other forces hurried down from Grenada and up from points so distant as Mobile ; when he retreated without a battle, via Clinton, to Vicksburg.1

Under cover of demonstrations at Colliersville and other points by Chalmers, Lee, and Richardson, against our lines covering the Memphis and Charleston railroad, Forrest, rest, with 4,000 mounted men, slipped through2 them near Salisbury, and advanced to Jackson, West Tennessee; see; which had ceased to be held in force on our side since the department headquarters had been transferred to Memphis. Drawing recruits from the sympathizers and supplies from the plantations and farms of all that region, he was soon emboldened to impel raiding parties in every direction ; while Brig.-Gen. A. L. Smith--directed against him from Columbus, Ky., by Hurlbut, with 6,000 men, of whom 2,000 were mounted — was brought to a full stop by the execrable badness of the roads, and finally retraced his steps to Columbus. lumbus. Hence, a cooperating force dispatched from Corinth on the south, consisting of Gen. Mower's brigade of infantry and Col. Mizener's cavalry, found nothing to cooperate with ; while the 7th Illinois cavalry, Col. Prince, which had moved out from Memphis to Bolivar, was compelled to fall back3 to Somerville; near which, it was surrounded next day by Richardson's mounted force--1,000 against 500--and routed with considerable loss.

Forrest had by this time taken the alarm, as well he might — the forces at Hurlbut's command being three times his own — and had started southward to make his escape. Much of the country in this quarter being flat and swampy, and the rivers being bank-full, while Forrest was notoriously short of pontoons, he was obliged, after passing the Hatchie, to bear westward nearly to Memphis to find roads which even horsemen could traverse. Hurlbut was aware of this, and had ordered the burning of every bridge over Wolf river. His orders were obeyed every where but at the bridge near Lafayette; and it was for that bridge that Forrest, accordingly, struck ; crossing over his army and his plunder , including a large drove of cattle, and pushing rapidly southward. This movement was covered by a fresh feint by Richardson on Colliersville; so that Gen. Grierson, who was watching for Forrest at Lagrange, was misled ; and, when the pursuit was actually commenced, the scent was too cold. Grierson followed to Holly Springs, and then desisted; Forrest getting safely away with more men and better horses than he led into Tennessee.

Gen. Sherman, with four divisions of Hurlbut's and McPherson's corps, and a brigade of cavalry under Winslow, low, moved4 eastward from Vicksburg through Jackson, crossing Pearl river on pontoons, and advancing through Brandon, Morton, Hillsboroa, and Decatur, across the Octibbeha and Tallahaha, to Meridian5--a railroad junction on the eastern

1 Oct. 21.

2 Early in December.

3 Dec. 24.

4 Feb. 3, 1864.

5 Feb. 14-16.

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