my command will be sent to the upper Missouri River as soon as the navigation opens, for temporary service in the Indian campaign this summer.
I am, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, March 6, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: Major-General Sherman, of General Grant's department, arrived in this city on the evening of the 1st instant, having completed his expedition to Meridian to his entire satisfaction. He returned to Vicksburg on the evening of the 3rd, to arrange for his co-operation in the Red River movement. Unless delayed by want of steam transportation, of which we put everything we have at his command, he will be ready to join me on the Red River by the 17th, where I hope to be at that date. He expects to furnish 10,000 men for that purpose.
Captain Dunham, of my staff, returned from the headquarters of General Steele yesterday, bearing communications from him, copies of which will be forwarded to you. General Steele appears to have changed the plan entertained when he last communicated with me. Copies of his dispatch at that time have ben forwarded to you. He then proposed to move by the way of Monroe for the Red River. He is now apprehensive, in consequence of the reduction of his forces, that he can only enter upon a movement for the diversion of the enemy in the direction of Arkadelphia, without any expectation of joining us at Shreveport or any other position on the river. General Sherman and myself have earnestly urged him to abandon this idea, which in any event could effect but little good, and to prepare for a movement direct upon the Red River in co-operation with us. I have hopes that he may accept this proposition, in which event the three forces in the course of thirty days would meet at Shreveport. General Steele represents that he will have about 6,000 men at his command. I respectfully request that orders may be given to him to co-operate with us upon the point named, in accordance with the plan originally proposed by you. I see nothing to defeat its success. Admiral Porter is ready to move up the river in co-operation with us as soon as his vessels can be admitted.
General McClernand has been assigned to the command of the troops in Texas, and will leave for an examination of the posts at Matagorda Bay and Brownsville to-morrow. Brigadier-General Ransom will have command of that portion of the Thirteenth Army Corps which participates in the movement on the Red River. The inauguration of Mr. Hahn, who was designated in the election of the 22nd February by the people as their candidate for Governor, in a poll numbering nearly 12,000 votes, occurred yesterday. Such a concourse of people has never, I think, been witnessed in this country. From 6,000 to 8,000 pupils of the public schools participated, and the number of people present is supposed not to have been less than 40,000 or 50,000. I have never witnessed such a spectacle elsewhere,