I telegraphed Grant about the possibility of returning AJ Smith’s Division by boat.
April 8, 1864: 3.30 p. m.
Lieutenant-General Grant, Culpepper:
It is not too late to bring A. J. Smith’s division out of Red River to join General McPherson by the Mississippi and Tennessee instead of by Grenada. As soon as I learn what force can be sent to General Steele from the States west of the Ohio I will order them. Have you ordered General Banks to come away with his troops, or does he leave any subject to General Steele’s orders, and how many? General Steele reported that he had only about 7,000 to take with him from the Arkansas, and that his cavalry and artillery were very bad.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General
I gave the orders to Smith to come by boat:
Headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, Nashville, Tennessee
April 8, 1864
General A. J. Smith, Commanding Red River Expedition, Vicksburg, en route:
General: Changes in circumstances render it better that your entire division and command should come by water via Cairo, Paducah, and up the Tennessee via Clifton. You need not therefore attempt the march to Grenada and across by land, but come in your boats by the route via Cairo. Copies of this will be sent to Generals McPherson, Hurlbut, and commanding officers at Cairo and Paducah.
One cause of this change is that General Veatch, instead of occupying Purdy, came away, and I had no notice of his coming till we heard of his troops at Florence.
I am, &c,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding