Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/696

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Oxford, Capt. Charles T. Biser; Panola, Capt R. C. Walsh.

On August 24th Greneral Maury telegraphed Forrest, "You have again saved Mississippi. Come and help Mobile. Fort Morgan, after a long and fierce struggle, was occupied by enemy yesterday. The attack on the city will be made at once, I expect. Will the retreat of the enemy from North Mississippi enable you to come with any of your force? We are very weak." But the land attack on Mobile was not made until the next spring.

Of the same date as Maury's letter to Forrest, there was a communication from Col. J. D. Stewart, chief of ordnance of the State of Mississippi, which throws light upon the efforts of the State in support of the cause. He said: "I am directed by Governor Clark to urge you to aid in arming his troops. We have now 5,000 in camp and not half of them armed. Mississippi will not have less than 9,000 or 10,000 troops ready in a few days, and we fear from present prospects that arms cannot be procured. Captain Evans, the ordnance officer at this place, seems to be doing all in his power, yet the arms do not come fast enough to arm the men. Your strong helping hand will no doubt facilitate matters. Give it tons, and let Mississippi elevate herself." Mississippi was represented in the operations at Mobile during the summer by the battery commanded by Capt. George F. Abbay, and early in September part of McCulloch's brigade was sent to Mobile.

On September 6, 1864, Lieut.-Gen. Richard Taylor assumed command of the department including Mississippi, with headquarters at Meridian. President Davis immediately telegraphed him that General Forrest believed that if he could take 4,000 men and six pieces of artillery into middle and west Tennessee he could do some good and recruit his command, which Mr. Davis advised, and Taylor immediately ordered the movement. Forrest then telegraphed Chalmers: "Move your troops