another scouting party up said river. On the 15th of October I again started for Fort Abercrombie, Dak. Terr., arriving at Georgetown on the 18th, and at this post on the 21st. Indian signs were found on Turtle River, but at no other place. Nothing of any note happened during the whole march.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. R. GERALD,
Lieutenant Company D, Independent Battalion Minnesota Vol. Cav.
WASHINGTON, D. C., November 6, 1864.
What I meant about Canby was whether, considering the uncertainty of Sherman's movements and the large force with which Beauregard was operating against Thomas and the Mississippi River, it would not be best for Canby to give up sending troops to the coast of Georgia, and operate against Beauregard the best he could from the Mississippi River. I understand that the Mobile and Ohio Railroad has been repaired as far north as Corinth, which is made Beauregard's depot, and that the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad is repaired to Holly Springs. I also learn from Generals Dana and M. L. Smith that the enemy are preparing to occupy the left bank of the Mississippi so as to secure the crossing of Kirby Smith's forces to the east side. General Curtis reached Fayetteville, Ark., on the 2nd, and raised the rebel siege of that place. He then pushed on for Fort Smith, where General Thayer is besieged, and will probably reach there to-night or to-morrow. Whether Steele is doing anything I cannot learn; at any rate Price will be disposed of within the next two or three days, and it seemed to me that if Canby were relieved from the proposed expedition to the Georgia coast he could, with Reynolds' forces, what Steele could spare, and what he could collect on the Mississippi River, so operate on Beauregard's communications as to greatly relieve Sherman and Thomas. From all the dispatches and telegrams received here, it seems that Beauregard is collecting into West Tennessee and Northern Mississippi every man he can raise in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.*
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Brazos Santiago, Tex., November 6, 1864.
Major G. B. DRAKE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Gulf:
MAJOR: I have the honor to state to the major-general commanding the Department of the Gulf that I arrived here November 1 and assumed command on the 2nd instant. The condition of the command is very bad. The means to put it in good condition are not here. First, I must have a boat that I can reach Point Isabel and Padra Island with, or I must have lumber and wood shipped from New Orleans. The driftwood for fuel is getting very scarce. The post hospital is in tents. The
*For other correspondence between Grant and Halleck on this subject, see Vol. XXXIX, Part III, pp.640, 657, 658.