therefore, was rapid.
The horses were rested and freshly shod, an ample supply of ammunition for cannon and small arms provided and the morale of the men kept up to the highest point.
Suffering from a slight but painful would in the foot, Forrest
turned over the command to General Chalmers
, and the latter wrote to the department commander on Aug. 1, as follows: ‘Our scouts report that the enemy is making preparations to move from Memphis
and north Alabama
at the same time, and, if successful, to concentrate at Selma
There are now 14,000 infantry at Lagrange
, a brigade moving from Decatur
and other troops arranging for departure from Memphis
Some troops, number unknown, have been sent down the river to Vicksburg
If the enemy moves in three columns, as expected, it will be impossible for us to meet him, and after consultation with Major General Forrest
, we have concluded to recommend a consolidation of the troops in this department to meet one column.
The northern column will be the largest.
If we can defeat it, the others may be easily overtaken and crushed.
Our effective force is 5,357, but we are very much crippled in officers.
My brigade commanders are wounded, also a brigade commander of General Buford
's division,’ etc.
In the meantime orders were issued to distribute ten days rations, one hundred rounds of ammunition per man and two hundred for each cannon.
On Aug. 2 General Chalmers
's Brigade from Tupelo
, and followed the next day with his staff and escort and Thrall
On the 4th Neely
's Brigade was also sent to Oxford
At this time General Forrest
resumed command, and wrote to Major General Maury
, commanding the department, in part as follows:
I will do all that can be done to drive the enemy back.
At the same time I have not the force to risk a general engagement, but will resort to all other means in my power to harass, annoy and force the enemy back.
It was well known to the federal authorities that the prairies of Mississippi
furnished bread to the Confederate armies.
It is easy, therefore, to understand how anxious they were to lay waste that section, but having repeatedly failed to