War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0610 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.

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the 17th. He desires that positive orders be sent to General Steele to move in conjunction with them for Red River with all his available forces. Sherman and Banks are of opinion that Steele can do much more than make a mere demonstration, as he last proposed. A telegram from you might decide him. Veterans of the Ninth Corps ordered to Annapolis.


Major-General, Chief of Staff.

WASHINGTON, D. C., March 15, 1864.

Major-General BANKS,

New Orleans:

GENERAL: Your dispatch of the 6th is just received. I telegraphed to General Steele on the 13th to co-operate with your movement on Red River with all his available force. General Gant has telegraphed him tot he same effect from Nashville. I think you can rely upon his co-operation, but this should not prevent your from concentrating all the force possible on your line of operations. This is all-important. If you move with a weak column, the enemy will be ceratin to concentrate on you. It is the opinion here that your troops are too much scattered by occupying too many unimportant points before the rebel force is broken.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Chief of Staff.

NASHVILLE, TENN., March 15, [18?]* 1864.

(Received Grand Ecore, 26th.

Major General N. P. BANKS,

Commanding Department of the Gulf, New Orleans:

Inclosed herewith I send you copy of General Orders, Numbers 1, assuming command of the armies of the United States. You will see from the order it is my intention to establish headquarters for the present with the Army of the Potomac. I have not fully determined upon a plan of campaign for this spring, but will do so before the return of our veteran troops to the field. It will, however, be my desire to have all parts of the Army, or rather all the armies, act as much in concert as possible. For this reason I now write you.

I regard the success of your present move as of great importance in reducing the number of troops necessary for protecting the navigation of the Mississippi River. It is also important that Shreveport should be taken as soon as possible. This done, send Brigadier General A. J. Smith whit his command back to Memphis as soon as possible. This force will be necessary for movements east of the Mississippi. Should you find that the taking of Shreveport will occupy ten to fifteen days more time than General Sherman gave his troops to be absent from their command, you will send them back at the time specified in his note of the-of March, even if it leads to the abandonment of the main object of your expedition. Should your


*See Banks' report, Part I, p. 203, and Grant's General Orders, Numbers 1, Vol. XXXII, Part III, p. 83.