now the navigation is one and should be controlled by one mind. I will do nothing risky our useless. Admiral Porter heartily sanctions. If Joe Johnston is now at Dalton, it is proof that the army of the Mississippi is all there, and you are right in preparing to get from the base of the Tennessee. We may then be able to draw more men from Hurlbut by neglecting Corinth and the railroad. If you have gone to Knoxville, I cannot expect to hear from you again until I reach Huntsville, but if you are at Chattanooga I should like to hear from you.
In relation to the conversation we had in General Granger's office the day before I left Nashville, I repeat, you occupy a position of more power than Halleck or the President. There are similar instances in European history, but none in ours. For the sake of future generations risk nothing. Let us risk, and when you strike let it be as at Vicksburg and Chattanooga.
Your reputation as a general is now far above that of any man living, and partisans will maneuver for your influence; but if you can escape them, as you have hitherto done, you will be more powerful for good than it is possible to measure. You said then you were surprised at my assertion on this point, but I repeat, that from what I have seen and heard here I am more and more convinced of the truth of what I told you. Do as you have heretofore done. Preserve a plain military character, and let others maneuver as they will. You will beat them not only in fame, but in doing good in the closing scenes of this war, when somebody must heal and mend up the breaches made by war.
Always your friend,
W. T. SHERMAN.
COLUMBIA, December 29, 1863.
Comdg. Second Cavalry Division, Pulaski:
My regiments have all arrived here but one. I have about 2,000 men for duty. Has Dodge sent you the stock to Prospect? We are collecting horses and mules on the way. I think I will order this portion of my command to Waynesborough, and join you myself tomorrow. When you receive your stock will you be ready to move?
WM. SOOY SMITH,
Brigadier-General, Chief of Cavalry, Div. of the Miss.
December 29, 1863.
Brigadier General W. S. SMITH,
Chief of Cavalry, Columbia, Tennessee:
This afternoon I sent you a dispatch, part of which was a copy of one received from Admiral Porter, directed to you at this place, stating that-
The boats are now at Savannah, in charge of the gun-boats, waiting for the troops. General Grant's orders were that they should go to Savannah. Do you wish them to return to Paducah?