movement this winter. Sherman, however, will be able to collect about 20,000 men from that part of his command now along the Mississippi River available for a movement eastward from Vicksburg. He excepts to have these ready to start about the 14th instant. He will proceed eastward as far as meridian at least, and will thoroughly destroy the roads east and south from there, and if possible will throw troops as far east as Selma; or if he finds Mobile so far unguarded as to make his force sufficient for the enterprise, will go there. To co-operate with this movement you want to keep up appearances of preparation of an advances of preparation of an advance from Chattanooga; it may be necessary, even, to move a column as far as La Fayette. The time for this advance, however, would not be before the 30th instant, or when you might learn the enemy were falling back. Logan will also be instructed to move as the same time what force he can from Bellefonte toward Rome. We will want to be ready at the earliest possible moment in the spring for a general advance.
I look upon the line for this army to secure in its next campaign to be that from Chattanooga to Mobile, Atlanta and Montgomery being the important intermediate points. I look upon the Tennessee River and Mobile as being the most practicable points from which to start and to hold as bases of supplies after the line is secured. I have so written to the General-in-Chief, only giving ny views more fully, and shall write to him to-day giving my views of the co-operation we should have from the Eastern armies. I shall recommend that no attempt be made toward Richmond by any of the routes heretofore operated on, but that a moving force of 60,000 men be thrown into New bern or Suffolk (favoring the late place), and move out, destroying the road as far toward richmond as possible; then move to Raleigh as rapidly as possible; hold that point, and open communication with New Bern-even Wilmington. From Raleigh the enemy's most inland line would be so threatened as to force them to keep on it a guard that would reduce their armies in the field much below our own. Before any part of this programme can be carried out Longstreet must be driven from East Tennessee. To do this it may be necessary to send more force from your command.. I write to give you an idea of what I propose and at the same time to hear such suggestions as you may have to propose.
U. S. GRANT,
CHATTANOOGA, January 19, 1864.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I am instructed by Major-General Halleck to report the present condition of affairs connected with the United States military railroad service in the Department of the Cumberland, an in doing so I beg to state that, while the duty is an unpleasant one, the interest of the service and my personal reputation demand a plain statement of the case.
By order of General M. C.. Meigs, Quartermaster-General, a large number of men were engaged and forwarded with tools and equipments to Nashville, Tenn., there to report for duty. Having myself been order to report to General Meigs, at Chattanooga, I called upon Mr. J. B. Anderson, general manger, &c., Nashville, Tenn.,