Friday, April 8, 1864

Thomas and McPherson are discussing the organization of their commands. Thomas has only minor changes. McPherson and I are discussing sending Slocum to Vicksburg. I would like to replace Hurlbut at Memphis and put someone in charge there that will pursue Forrest with more aggression.

I now feel that I have proper authority over the railroads. I have asked General Allen to assist me in the task.

Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi,
Nashville, April 8, 1864
General Robert Allen, Louisville:

Dear General:

Draw me up a programme whereby orders may issue from the War Department enabling you to act as my chief, with power to visit by yourself or inspectors every part of my command, to direct the course and accumulation of supplies, the distribution of the means of transportation, and all details purely pertaining to your department. I must have some quartermaster whose sphere is co-ordinate with my own, and the Quartermaster-General seems to recognize the necessity.

1 suppose you can remain at Louisville, though I would prefer you to be near me, especially if we advance beyond the Tennessee.

I inclose you a copy of my General Orders, No. 6, which will give us daily some thirty odd cars, and instead of yielding to the pressure of civilians I am inclined to be more rigid. I will have down on me all the Christian charities who are perambulating our camps, more to satisfy their curiosity than to minister to the wants of the poor soldier. My universal answer is that 200 pounds of powder or oats are more important to us than that weight of bottled piety.

As to sanitary goods, they can come here where they can be distributed as other stores, according to the known wants of the troops. I want you to back me in this, as I know the President and Secretary of War, yielding to ex parte clamor, will fail to see my reasons, nor will I explain them till asked for; you might do so. I must accumulate to the front at once as large a surplus as the capacity of the road will accomplish.

Yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major- General

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