War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0212 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.

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represented, it was thought that a portion of General Steele's command might be temporarily spared to operate with Sherman from the Mississippi. The Department of Arkansas was therefore made subject to the orders of General Grant.

It is quite probable that the condition of affairs in East Tennessee, so different from what General Grant anticipated when he detached General Sherman, may have caused him to modify his plans, or at least to postpone their execution. This may also prevent your receiving the expected aid from Sherman. Communications by the Mississippi River are so often interrupted and dispatches delayed that I am not advised where General Sherman now is or what are his present plans.

So many delays have already occurred, and the winter is now so far advanced, that I greatly fear no important operations west of the Mississippi will be concluded in time for General Grant's proposed campaign in the spring. This is greatly to be regretted, but perhaps is unavoidable, as all our armies are greatly reduced by furloughs, and the raising of new troops progresses very slowly. Re-enforcements are, however, being sent to you as rapidly as we can possibly get them ready for the field.

Have you not overestimated the strength of the enemy west of the Mississippi River? All the information we can get makes the whole rebel force under Magruder, Smith, and Price much less than ours under yourself and General Steele. Of course you have better sources of information than we have here.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

FRANKLIN, LA., February 1, 1864.

(Received 5.30 p. m.)

Brigadier General C. P. STONE,

Chief of Staff:

I get these facts from a friend who traveled with Captain Freret: Mouton is at Monroe with his own and Polignac's brigades. Walker is in the vicinity of the mouth of Red River. Green is at Niblett's Bluff. This friend estimates the force at 25,000; much increased in the last two months by conscription. He estimates the Texas rebel force at 28,000, including Green. All comes from Captain Freret, and I do not doubt that the numbers are exaggerated. The friend is going to New Orleans. Do what you can for him.

W. B. FRANKLIN,

Major-General, Commanding.

LA FOURCHE, LA., February 1, 1864 - 6.30 p. m.

(Received 7 p. m.)

Brigadier General C. P. STONE,

Chief of Staff:

The expedition has returned from Grand Ecore. It went as far as Butte a la Rose, but developed nothing there. There are signs of a small force of rebels at Lac Fausse Pointe. They obtained the lumber, but saw no black steamer.

E. L. MOLINEUX,

Colonel, Commanding.