VICKSBURG, MISS., January 30, 1864.
Major General N. P. BANKS,
Commanding Department of the Gulf, New Orleans, La.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that I arrived at this point to-day at 11 p. m., and immediately delivered your dispatch to Major-General Sherman. He informed me that a communication from Washington had been received by him relative to a concentration of forces on the line of the Red River, a copy of which will be transmitted to you without delay.
Major-General Sherman starts to-morrow or next day on an expedition, to consist of about 20,000 men, against General Polk, now commanding an army at or near Jackson, Miss. This he said would occupy his attention some twenty or twenty-five days, at the expiration of which time he hoped that the water in the Red and Atchafalaya Rivers would be sufficiently high to admit of navigation, when he would heartily co-operate with you in the movement suggested in your dispatch.
Major-General Steele is at Little rock, whither I will proceed by the shortest possible route, which his to the mouth of the Arkansas River, then to Devall's Bluff, and so by rail to Little Rock. I may probably be detained a day or two by being forced to wait for a boat bound up the Arkansas. The river is rising very fast, which will enable us to take the Northerner as far up as Memphis, for which city we leave Vicksburg at 4 a. m. to-morrow.
I have the honor to be, general, your most obedient servant,
ROBERT T. DUNHAM,
Captain and Aide-de-Camp.
FRANKLIN, LA., January 30, 1864-11.40 a. m.
(Received 11.45 a. m.)
Brigadier General C. P. STONE, Chief of Staff:
I sent a staff officer yesterday to get an answer to a note of Colonel Dwight to Major Levy, of General Taylor's staff. He met a scouting party of the enemy about 15 miles out. In conversation with the men it was apparent that the Second Louisiana Cavalry (rebel) is the only force between here and Vermillion. The rebel force referred to by Colonel Molineux is doubtless Captain Murphy's independent company, which has been conscripting in the vicinity of Faussee Pointe. Is it the intention of the major-general commanding that I shall remain here in command of this post? I ask this because if such is his intention, I wish to make my personal arrangements accordingly.
W. B. FRANKLIN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, January 30, 1864.
Major General W. B. FRANKLIN,
Commanding Troops in Western Louisiana, Franklin:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding does not desire you to remain permanently at Franklin, but simply to secure the force there.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. P. STONE,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.