OR, Series 1, Vol. 32, Part 1, Page 402

Headquarters Department of the Gulf
Mobile, Ala., March 3, 1864
My Dear Sir,
   I have kept you informed by telegraph of all events of interest in this department.
   I am glad that before receiving your dispatch directing me to operate against Sherman I had sent General Cantey with a brigade up the Mobile & Ohio Road, with orders to attack and drive back any raiding party and to delay and obstruct Sherman's advance, if it should be found he was really advancing on Mobile by that route. I held re-enforcements ready for General Cantey. I sent this force up at the very earliest moment possible.
   The trains with Government stores which were being run down to Mobile made the movement too late to prevent the destruction of the bridge at De Soto; but so soon as the enemy learned of Cantey's advance they retreated hastily toward Meridian, as I expected. General Cantey reported that the force which had been coming down this way was only a raid. I took immediate measures to repair the road, but the injury done to it is very great. Major Whitfield, of the quartermaster's department, and Mr. Fleming, superintendent of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, exhibited a great deal of energy, capacity, and courage in saving the valuable rolling-stock and the Government stores along the road.
   There is a body of armed traitors in Jones County, Miss., who have become so formidable that I have sent Colonel Maury with a force to break them up. They have been seizing Government stores, have been killing our people, and have actually made prisoners of and paroled officers of the Confederate army. They now threaten to interfere with the repairing of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. They are represented to be more than 500 strong, with artillery.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Dabney H. Maury
Major-General, Commanding
Hon. James A. Seddon
Secretary of War