War of the Rebellion: Serial 058 Page 0161 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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IV. The quartermaster and ordnance officer at Memphis will make the necessary issues under this order on the requisition of the colonels of regiments with a bond attached, all to be approved by the commander.

By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:



NASHVILLE, TENN., January 21, 1864 - 1.10 p. m.

(Received 8.15 p. m.)

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.:

I ordered Beckwith to give Colonel Comstock the key to Washington cipher, in order that I might have always some one with me who had it. Whilst at Knoxville I experienced the disadvantage of not having given such an order before. I would recommend that a cipher be used, not known to Colonel Stager or any operator.




Washington, D. C., January 21, 1864.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:

I beg leave to offer the following in explanation of my message to Captain Bruch, referred to in General grant's communication of last evening:

The information furnished me led me to believe that the request of the staff officer for copy of the cipher was without General Grant's authority, and as a new cipher had been arranged expressly for Mr. Beckwith's use at General Grant's headquarters, with the order of the Secretary of War recently issued that the operators for this duty should be held responsible for strict privacy in its use, I indited the message referred to, not thinking that it would come in conflict with General Grant's orders or wishes, the general having recently expressed his entire satisfaction with Mr. Beckwith's services.

I am exceedingly mortified at the result, as my only desire was to furnish the most reliable means of communication to General Grant with the War Department.

The new cipher was arranged with a view of being used by telegraph experts, and it is believed cannot be used with any success by others than telegraphers.

A great number of errors have been made by staff officers working ciphers, owing to their lack of experience i telegraphic characters, and it is believed that greater accuracy can be secured by placing ciphers in the hands of experts selected for this duty.

The new cipher differs in many respects from those formerly used, and the one arranged for General Grant should not be known to any other party, hence my anxiety to keep it in Beckwith's hands.

I sincerely regret that General Grant is led to believe that it is willful interference on my part.


Colonel and Superintendent Military Telegraph.