delay embark your troops on transports already there in readiness for you. After you have embarked your command you will proceed to Fortress Monroe and there rendezvous, telegraphing to Lieutenant-General Grant immediately on your arrival. You will have to use the utmost vigilance to guard against desertion, large bounties, and the numerous bounty brokers who will be at work.
I am, general, very respectfully, &c.,
JAS. W. FORSYTH,
Brevet Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
CITY POINT, VA., January 7, 1865.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Please say to General Sherman I do not regard the capture of Charleston as of any military importance. He can pass it by, unless in doing so he leaves a force in his rear which it will be dangerous to have there. It will be left entirely to his own discretion whether Charleston should be taken now.
U. S. GRANT,
Off Fort Monroe, January 7, 1865-12. 15 p.m.
Have just received your telegram of this date and will communicate your views to General Sherman. Will be off in half an hour. With good wishes for you,
E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Savannah, January 7, 1865.
DEAR ADMIRAL: The letter you send me is from Admiral Porter, at Beaufort, N. C. I am not certain that there is a vessel in Port Royal from Admiral Porter or I would write him. If there be one to return to him I beg you to send this, with a request that I be advised as early as possible as to the condition of the railroad from Beaufort, N. C., back to New Berne, and so on toward Goldsborough; also all maps and information of the country above New Berne; how many cars and locomotives are available to us on that road; whether there is good navigation from Beaufort, N. C., via Pamlico Sound, up Neuse River, &c. I want Admiral Porter to know that I expect to be ready to move about the 15th; that I have one head of column across Savannah River at this point; will soon have another at Port Royal Ferry, and expect to make another crossing at Sister's Ferry. I still adhere to my plan submitted to General Grant, and only await provisions and forage. The more I think of the after at Wilmington the more I feel ashamed