If driven from Northern Arkansas and Southern Louisiana, the enemy would probably operate on the Tensas, Washita, and Red Rivers; but, with the gunboats and forces you could send against him, I do not believe he could accomplish anything of importance.
If the organized rebel forces could be driven from Arkansas and Louisiana, these States would immediately be restored to the Union. Texas would follow, almost of its own accord.
I present these general views for your consideration. Circumstances may compel you to pursue a course entirely different from the one suggested; for example, Johnston may be so re-enforced as to require all your means to oppose him. In that case Rosecrans should be able to occupy East Tennessee without any additional forces, and East Tennessee being once occupied, Burnside's forces in Kentucky can be sent to you or to Rosecrans. In other words, wherever the enemy concentrates we must concentrate to oppose him.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK.
HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, Washington, D. C., July 11, 1863.
Major-General GRANT, Vicksburg:
MY DEAR GENERAL: General George G. Meade has been appointed a brigadier-general in the Regular Army at the same time that you were made a major-general. There is still one vacant brigadier-generally, and I hope that Harney, Anderson, and Cooke will soon be retired, making three more vacancies.
The most prominent candidates at present for brigadier-generals in the Regular Army are W. T. Sherman, McPherson, G. H. Thomas, Sedgwick, and Hancock. I am of opinion that Sherman and McPherson have rendered the best service and should come in first. If you think so, write an official letter to that effect, urging their appointment to the first vacancies. State their services pretty fully, and mention the battles they have been in under your command. * The feeling is very strong here in [favor of] your generals.
We are anxiously waiting to hear of the fall of Port Hudson and the entire opening of the Mississippi River. The President will then issue a general order congratulating the armies of the East and WEST on their recent victories. This consideration has prevented me from issuing one myself for your army. I prefer that it should come from the President.
Meade has thus far proved an excellent general, the only one, in fact, who has ever fought the Army of the Potomac well. He seems the right man in the right place. Hooker was more than a failure. Had he remained in command, he would have lost the army and the capital.
Give my kindest regards to my old friends among your officers. I sincerely wish I was with you again in the West. I am utterly sick of this political hell.
H. W. HALLECK.
Vicksburg, MISS., July 11, 1863-3 p. m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:
General Banks writes me that he wants from 10,000 to 12,000 men to enable him to follow up the enemy and to move into Texas. Shall I
*See Grant to Lincoln, July 22, p. 540.