January 13, 1864.
GENERAL: The report of General Warren, dated December 11, 1863, gives a very satisfactory account of his march to Lavaca, and its influence cannot but be favorable both upon the troops and the people. These expeditions are productive of good results, but great care should be taken against surprise. The policy of Magruder will be to line in wait with a large force to cut off detachments of our troops, and it is certain to succeed, except by extreme vigilance on our part in the execution of these expeditions.
I am very anxious that such fortifications may be constructed at Indiana as will enable us to hold that position with safety; and with the advantage which you describe as likely to be derived from it by our troops, their position will be greatly improved. I hope soon to be able to concentrate such a force there as to make our movement against Magruder's army a certain success. At present his army is stronger than ours. I beg you to convey my compliments to General Warren, and say that am very glad of his success.
I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Vicksburg, January 29, 1864.
Colonel J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General to the general-in Chief:
SIR: On the 6th instant I acknowledged to General Halleck the receipt of his letter of December 28, 1863, inclosing copies of letters from Colonel Holabird and Captain Armstrong, of the quartermaster's department at New Orleans, and instructing me to report the facts in the case, and give such orders as would prevent a recurrence of the matters complained of. I have made the orders, and now inclose General McPherson's report of the facts, with inclosures.
I need add to General McPherson's report nothing but the renewal of my assertion, that we stand prepared to share General Banks our supplies, but must take exception to the language and manner of Colonel Holabird in making his complaint.
I am fully aware of the scarcity of forage north, and have impressed on my command the necessity of fighting for our forage out of the abundant cornfields of the south.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN,
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
HDQRS. 17TH ARMY CORPS, DEPT. OF THE TENNESSEE,
Vicksburg, Miss., January 20, 1864.
Major General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Army, Department of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of letter to you from the General-in-Chief, dated Washington, December 28, 1863,