War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 1099 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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send the troops and commander selected to Fortress Monroe and out to sea with sealed instructions not to be opened until they pass the Heads. I would advise that Admiral Porter simply be directed to hold on as he is until he receives further orders from the Department. You will understand why I would say no more. I am in hopes by secrecy the enemy may be lulled into such security as to induce him to send his Wilmington forces against Sherman, or bring them back here by the time we ready to start. There will be no delay on the part of troops.



CITY POINT, VA., December 30, 1864-2 p.m.

(Received 7 p.m.)


Secretary of War:

The accompanying dispatch* was received over your signature and answered; subsequently a dispatch from operator was received stating that it should have been signed G. Welles, Secretary of the Navy. It is all right, however, for I do not propose to correspond with the Navy Department about military operations except through you. My first dispatch gives all that I would advise should be said to the Secretary of the Navy for the present. I will say to Mrs. Welles that I will advise with you about further operations against Wilmington and he can get his information from you.



WASHINGTON, CITY, December 30, 1864-9 p.m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

Your dispatch of 12 noon to-day just received, and I am rejoiced at its indications. No living man shall know anything upon the subject from me except the Secretary of the Navy. I would suggest an express from you to Porter to let him know at the earliest possible moment what to expect before he leaves.


Secretary of War.


December 30, 1864-10 p.m.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

City Point, Va.:

Ingalls' requisition upon Meigs for the return of the transportation will, of course, set him and all the thousand and one guessers at work to nose out the object. You cannot count upon any secrecy in the Navy. Newspaper reporters have the run of that Department. Might it not throw them off to give out there confidentially that the troops are going to Sherman to enable him to march through the interior and garrison important points or else to attack Mobile?


Secretary of War.


* See Welles to Grant, 9.30 p.m. December 29, p.1091.