of all obstacles, the train safely escorted to its destination, and the command returned without the loss of a man. The extra clothing would have been unnecessary had the men remained in winter quarters, and it seems but reasonable under the circumstances that they should not be required to pay for it.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. H. SIBLEY,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, February 7, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose a copy of a letter received on the 5th instant from Major-General Sherman, giving a statement of his operations toward Meridian and the prospect of navigation on Red River. We shall be ready to co-operate with him at the time he designates. Admiral Farragut, is, in accordance with the suggestions of General Sherman, making some demonstrations against Mobile. He left this port yesterday for the purpose of a reconnaissance in that direction. The force east of Lake Pontchartrain will also make some demonstrations for the same purpose. There is no material change in the position of our troops since my last dispatch, nor in the strength or position of the enemy. The steamer George Washington, with mails to the 30th, will arrive this morning. I regret that the steamer which leaves this port could not take with it acknowledgments of instructions which I hope the mail will bring me in regard to the operations you contemplate in the Red River country.
I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Vicksburg, Miss., January 31, 1864.
Major General N. P. BANKS,
Commanding Dept. of the Gulf, New Orleans, La.:
GENERAL: I received yesterday, at the hands of Captain Dunham, aide-de-camp, your letter of the 25th instant, and hasten to reply. Captain Dunham has gone to the mouth of White River en route for Little Rock, and the other officer officers who accompanied him have gone up to Cairo, as I understand, to charter twenty-five steam-boats for the Red River trip. The Mississippi Rivere, though low for the season, is free of ice and in good boating order, but I understand that Red River is still low. I had a man in from Alexandria yesterday who reported the falls or rapids at that place impassable save by the smallest boats. My inland expedition is now moving, and I will be off for jackson and Meridian to-morrow. The only fear I have is in the weather. All the other combinations are good. I want to deep therefore will be obliged if you would keep up an irritating foraging or other expedition in that direction.