Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/675

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posts of Cahaba, under Col. H. C. Davis; Columbus, under General Ruggles; Demopolis, under Col. Nathaniel Wickliffe, and at Selma, under Col. T. H. Rosser. In this statement the command which Forrest was organizing at Cosmo is not included. He had displayed great energy in the work of reorganization, and the war department had revoked all other authority to raise troops in west Tennessee and north Mississippi. On February 5th he reported that he brought 3,100 out of Tennessee and had since received several hundred more.

In January Forrest organized four brigades of cavalry, to be commanded by Brig.-Gen. R. V. Richardson, Col. Robert McCulloch, Col. T. H. Bell, and Col. J. E. Forrest. The division of Gen. J. R. Chalmers included Richardson’s and McCulloch's brigades, and the brigades of Bell and Forrest (later Thompson) made up a division commanded by Gen. A. Buford. The cavalry of the department had been divided by order of January 11th, Forrest being assigned to command in northern Mississippi and west Tennessee; and Lee in southern Mississippi and east Louisiana, with headquarters at Jackson.

The threatened Federal movement against Meridian was preceded by the abandonment of Corinth by Hurlbut, who burned the town and prepared his forces to co-operate with Sherman. The plan was for Sherman to march from Vicksburg with 25,500 men; while Gen. William Sooy Smith, with a cavalry division 6,500 strong, should march from Memphis to Meridian by way of Pontotoc and Okolona, About January 28th Sherman began a demonstration with gunboats up the Yazoo. He was closely watched by General Lee, who had posted Ross’ brigade at Benton and Starke’s at Brownsville. Wirt Adams, who had been operating in East Louisiana, was brought up to Raymond. The advance up the Yazoo was very gallantly met by Ross’ Texans, who encountered with equal aplomb infantry, cavalry and gunboats at Liverpool, defeating the infantry and gunboats combined.