The Mississippi campaign.the operations of the enemy--condition of our armies — energy of the commanding General--our success--Gen.Polk's recent arrival. Etc.
A correspondent of the Montgomery Advertiser, writing from Demopolis, Ala, February 28th, furnishes the following interesting review of matters in Gen Polk's Department, The campaign through which the army of this Deportment has just passed has been fruitful of many incident, and profitable in demonstrating the ability of the South to maintain its independence. The Federal newspapers have for more than six weeks been filled with the plans of the great South western campaign, Sherman was to invade Mississippi with three columns. --One--the larger — to leave Vicksburg; another Western Tennessee, down the Mobile and Ohio railroad; and the third was to land at Pascagoula There three columns were to unite at some point, capture Mobile, then Montgomery, and occupy all of Mississippi, and that portion of the State of Alabama, west of the Alabama river. To accomplish this grand object, Sherman was given 70,000 veteran troops. The expedition so largely planned was in angulated by the moving of the two first columns. Sherman left Vicksburg the 1st of February, at the head of thirty five thousand infantry, two or three thousand cavalry, and from sixty to eighty pieces of artillery. Almost simultaneously Grierson or Smith began their march through North Mississippi with twelve or fifteen thousand cavalry and mounted infantry. Mobile, at the same time, was threatened by water with the enemy's fleet of gunboats, and by land from Pensacola and Pascagoula. The question naturally arose with those anxious about the fate of this section what was to be the result ? General Polk had recently been placed in command of this Department. He assumed command late in December, and scarcely had more than familiarized himself with the command, and had had but little time to organize his troops and collect together all the energies of his Department; and whether strong or weak by reason of his predecessor's organization, upon that and that alone, he must rely. Gen. Polk took the field. Forrest was still detached from the main army, and must remain so to watch the movements of Grier son and his command. Sherman with his 35,000 could only be opposed by Loring, French, and Lee. From Vicksburg the enemy moved very rapidly and vigorously on to Jackson, and from that point they threatened Meridian, the railroad centre of this department.--At this time Gen. Polk borrowed from the Mobile garrison two or three brigades to retard the enemy in order to enable him to save his supplies, which had accumulated at different points of the railroads for the past two years. It would have been the height of folly to have given the enemy battle under the circumstances, Our force, when strengthened by the reinforcements from Mobile, did not reach over half that of the enemy, inclusive of our cavalry. At the present stage of our revolution, the lose of an army, however small, would be extremely disastrous. Caution and precedence is more needed now than at any period of the war. With the additional force from Mobile the enemy was checked, enabling him to save his accumulated stores and protect his supplies. The little army of this Department fell back from Brandon in perfect order — slowly and successfully, The enemy moved his bodies of infantry, artillery, and cavalry, with caution and prudence, Lee hung upon his flanks and compelled him to move in compact column, giving him no time to forage or to depredate upon the country. in the meantime Gen. Polk, with all his acknowledged energy, was moving all his stores from points of the different railroads likely to fall into the enemy's hands. On Sunday, the 14th, Lieut. General Polk evacuated Meridian, with his little army, heavily pressed by an enemy thirty-five thousand strong. Before the evacuation, however, every article belonging to the different departments of the Government had been moved — The rolling stock of four important railroads had been saved — not a car was left, and scarcely a wheel left. The locomotives and cars be longing to the Mobile and Ohio road were safely housed in Mobile. Those of the other roads were brought to the Tombigbee and safely placed upon this side of the river. It was a moral and great railroad centre. The little town of Meridian stood lonely amid the silence of pin barrens, without a noise to disturb its solicitude or a thrill whistle to arenas its inhabitants.--The garrison belonging to Mobiles had been safely returned to their duties there, and Mobile was as safe as the department at Richmond intended it to be. General Polk with his band of heroes, retired safely to this place, ready and prepared for an emergency. The enemy, with his strong force of Western troops, marched through the centre of the State of Mississippi, nearly to its eastern border, and reaped a fruitless victory. Scarcely a grain of corn or a straggling beef repaid him for his toil, and to day he is a discomfited enemy, retracing his steps with as much haste as he invaded. The other column under Grierson met the same fate. It was unable to form a junction with Sherman, and is now moving back to his stronghold in Memphis.--Forrest had been hanging upon his flanks from the time he entered Mississippi, and Lee is now sent by the commanding General to unite with Forrest, and woe be unto him if he falls between these mill stones. I have given briefly the facts connected with the campaign, as I have seen them, to show the public what was done, was well done.--History will record to Gen. Polk great skill and energy in the management of this campaign. The army in this Department he found here; with such material as he had, he made the campaign. We have lost comparatively little in then, in munitions, or in supplies. And in less than ten days we will have regained all the territory which the enemy passed, and this was done by the force in this Department without aid from other quarters. General Polk has issued the following orders to the troops under his command: