the army. You invite these suggestions, and I think General Halleck would order a concert of action any time you are prepared.
The possession of the river, with an army capable of disembarking and striking inland, would have a mighty influence.
I know that the people, though full of Southern ardor, are getting tired of the devastations of war. Our new troops came with ideas of making vigorous war, which means universal destruction, and it requires hard handling to repress excesses.
I take freely of corn, horses, wood and lumber, brick, everything for the Government, but allow no individual plunder.
I was very anxious to see you before departing for the interior, but now expect soon to be off, acting under Grant, but hope we may meet below. I have admirable maps of Memphis and country round about, of which I could give you copies; but as your operations are by water, these would be of little service.
I am, with great respect, yours,
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF MEMPHIS,
Memphis, November 17, 1862.
F. G. PRATT, Esq.,
DEAR SIR: Yours of November 14 has been before me some days. I have thought of the subject-matter, and appreciate what you say, but for the present think best not to tamper with the subject. Money is a thing that cannot be disposed of by an order. Were I to declare that Tennessee money should not be quoted higher than greenbacks, my order would do not good, for any person having cotton to sell has a right to brier it for anything he pleases; thus he might trade it for Tennessee money at 50 cents per pound, and for greenbacks at 52 cents, thereby making the discount. Money will seek its value, and no king or president can fix value by a decree or order. It has been tried a thousand times, always without success; but let money alone and it find its true value.
The reason why Tennessee money has been above greenbacks was, and is, because that kind of money was in demand for cotton. Now, is it our interest to encourage the bringing in of cotton? If so, must we not let the owner barter it for what he pleases? When we answer these question in the affirmative, we must let the owner of the cotton sell it as he pleases. Those who own cotton do not insult our Government by preferring Tennessee money to greenbacks. Tennessee money suits their individual purposes better than greenbacks, and it pleases me, as I see they want their money for local home use, and not to send abroad for munitions of war.
Le these things regulate themselves. War, and war alone, can inspire our enemy with respect, and they will have their belly full f that very soon. I rather think they will in time cry, "Hold, enough!" Till then, let Union men feel confident in their real strength, and determination of our Government, and despise the street talk of Jews and secessionists.
W. T. SHERMAN,