Monday, January 4, 1864

Cairo, Illinois

I arrived here last night. Today I met with Admiral Porter to discuss raids along the Mississippi and tributaries to halt the Guerrilla threat to shipping on the Mississippi. We had a good conversation and talked about the current positions. Admiral Porter gave me a gunboat, the Juliet to use.

I wrote the following to General Grant and sent a copy to Halleck:

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, 
Cairo, Illinois January 4, 1864

Major General U. S. GRANT, Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi, Nashville, Tennessee:

Arrived last night. Mississippi above frozen over, but Ohio full and river below in good order. Railroad trains running very irregular, from the late intense cold weather. Have seen Admiral Porter. Boats navigating the Mississippi have not been disturbed of late, and no apprehensions need be felt on that score.

Red River and Yazoo too low to admit of the expeditions to Shreveport, and Grenada, but the season is otherwise favorable. I am satisfied we have troops enough to take Shreveport if we can get up Red River, which the admiral thinks impossible. I will inspect Paducah tomorrow, Columbus next day, then to Memphis. I will make preparations to strike inland when the blow will be most effectual.

There is no doubt the whole case would be simplified if you had the command of all the Mississippi Valley below Cairo. I think if you were to name the subject to General Halleck that he would order it, for its propriety is better known to him than any other. Admiral Porter’s command extends to below New Orleans, and ours should also. All is reported well and quiet below. Should you see cause to call for me at Huntsville or Stevenson, a dispatch sent to me via Cairo would bring me as soon as steamer could carry me.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

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