McPherson has proposed going east to Huntsville, Alabama, exchanging commands with Logan. I would approve it, as I prefer McPherson in the field to Logan.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Near Memphis, January 20, 1864.
Major-General GRANT, Via Nashville:
DEAR GENERAL: General McPherson, at Vicksburg, named to me what I had not heard, that General Logan contemplated exchanging corps with him. He also showed me a letter he had written General Cullum in answer to one received, telling him that parties has accused him of a leaning to the secesh. I do think McPherson is too young and active to be kept at a post like Vicksburg, and I will be perfectly willing to approve of a change that would take him to a more active field.
Should this transfer be made, I will yield to him, with your consent, the command of the army in the field, retaining the department on the river. As to his leaning to the secesh it is, of course, ridiculous nonsense. The young ladies that he naturally associates with have that leaning, but he has too much character to be served by such influences.
I think I can keep up the army in the field to 25,000 men, and yet have enough left to hold the vital points on the Mississippi, as well as to stir up the inland country from time to time, to hold here a respectable force of the enemy, and also give the inhabitants a chance to abandon the Confederacy. I will order Hurlbut to drop from his return the troops detached to Steele, as they are lost to us.
I am, with respect, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding