tools and materials for construction at Kingston by General Foster of three steam-boat hulls, which, when finished, will be sent to Bridgeport to receive their engines. He had shipped all his materials and tools. I wish you therefore to instant Captain Edwards to build the yawls and provide the fittings necessary to prepare not less than two of the large class steam-boats for such an armament as is described in Mr. Wiard's pamphlets. The navy Department will advise Admiral Porter to supply the armament and the crew if desired by General Grant, to whom I write by this mail.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. C. MEIGS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, April 24, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded to Major General W. T. Sherman, commanding Military Division of the Mississippi, with the request that he will notify Admiral Porter that there are now four gun-boats nearly ready for the reception of their armaments, and with the request, that he will supply the same and provide crew, according to the understanding with the Navy Department referred to within.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, u. S. Volunteers. Commanding.
NASHVILLE, January 15, 1864.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Department of the Tennessee:
Inclosed I send you copy of a letter just received from General Halleck, * one from him to Steele, * and my latter of this date to Halleck.* The latter contains all the instructions I deem necessary to you in your present move.
Your dispatch suggesting the move on Meridian received and approved. Nearly all the troops in Thomas's and Dodge's commands having less than one year to serve have re-enlisted, and many of them have been furloughed. This, with the fact that Longstreet's presence in East Tennessee makes it necessary from me to keep always ready a force to meet them, will prevent me doing much more than is indicated in my letter to General Halleck. I will have, however, both Thomas and Logan ready, so that if the enemy should weaken himself much in front they can advance. I see no special reason now for keeping up the force from Memphis to Corinth andy longer. If you think proper, therefore, you may advance the whole of that line. Should you do so order all the locomotives and cars on the road shipped to this place at once.
Whilst you are at Vicksburg, order the shipment of all cars that can be spared from that road also. One locomotive and then cars are sufficient to keep there.
U. S. GRANT,
* See pp. 40,42, and 99.