Thomas can spare them, I would like to nave all detachments, convalescents, &c., belonging to these four corps sent forward at once. I don't want to cripple Thomas, because I regard his operations as all important, and I have ordered him pursue Hood down into Alabama, trusting to the country for supplies. I reviewed one of my corps to-day, and shall continue to review the whole army. I don't like to boast, but I believe this army has a confidence in itself that makes it almost invincible. I wish you wold run down and see us; it would have a good effect, and would show to both armies that they are acting on a common plan. The Weather is now cool and pleasant, and the general health very good.
Your true friend,
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Savannah, GA., December 24, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff, Washington City, D. C.:
GENERAL: I had the pleasure to receive your two letters of the 16th and 18th instant to-day, and I feel more than usually flattered by the high encomiums you have passed on our recent campaign, which is now complete by the occupation of Savannah. I am also very glad that General Grant has changed his mind about embarking my troops for James River, leaving me free to make the broad swath you describe through South and North Carolina, and still more gratified at the news from Thomas in Tennessee, because if fulfills my plan, which contemplated his being fully able to dispose of Hood in case he ventured north of the Tennessee River; so I think, on the whole, I can chuckle over Jeff. Davis' disappointment in not turning my Atlanta campaign into a Moscow disaster. I have just finished a long letter General into la Moscow disaster. I have just finished a long letter to General Grant, and have explained to him that we are engaged in shifting our base from the Ogeechee over to the Savannah River, dismantling all the forts made by the enemy to bear upon the salt-water channels, and transferring the heavy ordnance, &c., to Fort Pulaski and Hilton Head, and in remodeling the enemy's interior lines to suit our future plans and purposes. I have also laid down the programme of a campaign which I can make this winter, and put me in the spring on the Roanoke, in direct communication with him on the James River. In general terms, my plan is to turn over to General Foster the city of Savannah, and to sally forth, with my army resupplied, cross the Savannah, feign on Charleston an Augusta, but strike between, breaking en route the Charleston and Augusta Railroad, also a large part of that from Branchville and Camden toward North Carolina, and then rapidly moving to some point of the railroad from Charleston to Wilmington, between the Santee and Cape Fear Rivers; then, communicating with the fleet in the neighborhood of Georgetown, I would turn upon Wilmington or Charleston accordingly to the importance of either. I rather prefer Wilmington, as a live place, over Charleston, which is dead and unimportant when its railroad communications are broken. I take it for granted the present movement on Wilmington will fail, because I know that gun-boats cannot take a fort, and Butler has not the force or the ability to take it. If I should determine to take Charleston I would turn across the country, which I have hunted over many a time, from Santee to Mount Pleasant, throwing one wing