Wednesday, February 17, 1864

Meridian, Mississippi

I directed General Hurlbut to send his corps to the vicinity of Marion and continue destruction of the Railroad to Selma and the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. The cavalry are to screen against enemy forces to the East. General Crocker found no opposition at all in Enterprise, Mississippi and brings news that two division that were started to Meridian from Mobile have gone back to Mobile, presumably in response to the feint from Banks.

AJ Smith reports that by midnight he will have completely destroyed 12 and a half miles of Railroad, ties burned and rail twisted beyond repair. There is a small enemy cavalry force in his front. If possible, I want railroad bridges within reach, burned. The enemy cause many problems for us in Tennessee by their destruction of the railroads. I wish to return the favor.

General Veatch has been delayed in his destruction of the rails by skirmishes with cavalry. He will still complete much of the destruction.

Where the rails cannot be destroy, we will concentrate on bridges and trestles. Gresham burned the Chikasawhay bridge and trestle 2 1/2 mi track, the Chunky River Bridge has been burned and all railroads and railroad equipment, buildings, water towers &c have been destroyed in Meridian, Enterprise, Marion Station & Chunky Station.

At Enterprise, Mississippi, the men found a conscript camp where the enemy was impressing men into the army, some in violation of their parole. The camp was destroyed and the men burned the entire town in retaliation.

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