WASHINGTON, December 19 1864-12 m.
Commanding Armies of the United States:
GENERAL: Hilton Head some days since called for at least six light steamers to ply between the ocean fleet of steamers and supply vessels and Sherman's army, on the Ogeechee. I ordered the steamers to be selected from among those in the Chesapeake waters as the quickest way of supplying this necessity. I am told that yesterday verbal orders, by our authority, were given forbidding the detachment of the steamers. What shall be done? The forage and supply vessels rendezvoused at Port Royal ascend the Ogeechee.
M. C. MEIGS,
CITY POINT, VA., December 19, 1864-3. 30 p. m.
(Received 4 p. m.)
Bvt. Major General M. C. MEIGS,
My order against sending vessels to Savannah was given the understanding that vessels were being sent to move Sherman's army. I soon learned the facts, and directed General Ingalls to go on.
U. S. GRANT,
Washington City, December 19, 1864.
Commanding, at Savannah:
GENERAL: I wrote you fully a day or two since in regard to supplies. At it is reported that you will not find light steamers enough on the coast to supply you to up the Ogeechee, I have ordered six of the most suitable to be sent from the Chesapeake. The Louise, a very fine iron steamer, goes this morning, and I write by her unless my other dispatch may miscarry. I see you aware of the importance of stripping your army of all useless mouths. The only supply about which I have any anxiety is hay; this we have not been able to procure in sufficient quantities. There is no difficulty, so long as the credit of the Government holds out, in sending on everything else in abundance. But I hope that you will get rid of every mule and horse not absolutely needed about Savannah.
Wishing you continued success, I am, very truly your friend.
M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General, Brevet Major-General.
P. S. -Donaldson telegraphs that his organized quartermaster's volunteers were assigned an important position in the lines at Nashville, which they held a considerable number of troops into the assault, who, but for the organization of these 7,000 quartermaster's employees, would have been required to hold the lines. They also defended Johnsonsville, on the Tennessee, when attacked by Forrest last month.