Nashville February 15th '64
BRIG GENERAL R. ALLEN Q. M.
If boats have gone to New Orleans to transport troops up Red River there is no necessity for others to be sent to Vicksburg. One expedition is sufficient. If Banks makes it Sherman will not. If Banks does not Sherman can get the transports sent to Banks. Advise the Quartermaster at St Louis not to send transports to Vicksburg unless there is a surplus
U. S. GRANT
Telegram, copies, DLC-USG, V, 34, 35; DNA, RG 393, Military Div. of the Miss., Letters Sent. On Feb. 12, 1864, Brig. Gen. Robert Allen wrote to USG. "I fear that the demands which Gen. Banks, or rather Gen. Bank's, subordinates, are making for transportation, will greatly embarrass us in our efforts to get Stores ahead at Nashville. Gen. Banks, himself only made requisitions on me for fifteen boats. I assented to his having twenty. These together with Seventeen previously given to Gen. Sherman, make a wide gap in our means, but I have just this moment received a dispatch from the Quarter Master, at St Louis, which reads as follows: 'Capt. Lewis, had special orders to provide transportation for the force of Gen. Banks, movement. He will take forty Steamers embracing many of the largest boats on the river. They have turned back the "Empress" from Memphis, unloading a full cargo of Sugar and molasses. Colonel Mac Pheely arrived with verbal orders to get boats for ten thousand men to be at Vicksburg by the 1st of March, to go to same place as Gen. Banks Troops. I presume that the movement is the same, and that the forty Boats now taking will lay at New Orleans until the 5th or tenth of March' Of the nature of these movements you, General, are likely informed. I know nothing about them, but if subordinate officers are allowed to come up the Rivers and sweep them of their boats without any calculation of actual wants, we will labor in vain to get any large supply of Stores in advance at Nashville. We are employing now all the boats on the Ohio and getting supplies as fast as possible with our means." LS, ibid., Letters Received.