cepted dispatch). I have found the for in good condition and the guns fully provided with ammunition, having from 100 to 200 rounds per gun on hand; but the position has been weakened to a certain extent, from the fact that all the booms in Light-House Inlet, as well as in Secessionville Creek, have been carried away, and have not been replaced. With regard to offensive operations, I have to state that the planking intended for the completion of the plankway across the marsh on Morris Island, and that which was provided for the flooring of the bridge to cross from Cole's to James Island, have been used for other purposes.
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your two communications dated December 14 and 15; the former with regard to the arrival of General Sherman, and the latter touching the commencement of hostilities at the expiration of the truce.
I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding District.
CONFIDENTIAL.] HDQRS. ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES.
Washington, D. C., December 18, 1864.
Major General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Military division of the Mississippi:
MY DEAR GENERAL: I have just received and received and read, I need not tell you with how much gratification, your letter to General Halleck. I congratulate you and the brave officers and men under you command on the successful termination of your most brilliant campaign. I never had a doubt of the result. When apprehensions for your safety were expressed by the President, I assured him with the army you had, and you in command of it, there was no danger but you would strike bottom on salt water some place; that I would not feel the same security-in fact, would not have entrusted the expedition to any other living commander. It has been very hard work to get Thomas to attack Hood. I gave him the most peremptory order, and had started to go there myself before he got off. He has done magnificently, however, since he started. Up to last night 5,000 prisoners and 49 pieces of captured artillery, besides many wagons and innumerable small arms, had been received in Nashville. this is exclusive of the enemy's loss at Franklin, which amounted to 13 general officers killed, wounded, and captured. The enemy probably lost 5,000 men at Franklin, and 10,000 in the last three days' operations. Breckinridge is said to he making for Murfreesborough; if so, he is in a most excellent place. Stoneman has nearly wiped out John Morgan's old command and five days ago entered Bristol. I did think the best thing to do was to bring the greater part of your army here and wipe out Lee. The turn affairs now seem to be taking has shaken me in that opinion. I doubt whether you may not accomplish more toward that result where you are than if brought here, especially as I am informed since by arrival in the city that it would take about two months to get you here, with all the other calls there are for ocean transportation. I want to get your views about what ought to be done and what can be done. If you capture the garrison of Savannah it certainly will compel Lee to detach from Richmond, or give us nearly the whole South. My own opinion is that Lee is averse to going out