On April 9, 10:00 P. M., USG telegraphed to Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck. "Will you please ascertain if Genl F. P. Blair is to be sent to Genl Sherman; if not an army Corps commander will have to be named for the 15th Corps. I would much sooner have Genl Hunter or Buell at Memphis than Hurlbut and Gen Sher- man is not willing to try Hurlbut in the field again." Telegram received, DNA, RG 107, Telegrams Collected (Bound); copies, ibid., RG 108, Letters Sent; DLC-USG, V, 45, 59. O. R., I, xxxii, part 3, 304. On April 24, Col. Edward D. Townsend telegraphed to USG. "By order of the President Major General F. P. Blair has been assigned to command the seventeenth Army Corps—in General Orders number one hundred seventy eight (178)" ALS (telegram sent), DNA, RG 107, Telegrams Collected (Unbound). See HED, 38-1-80; SRC, 38-1-84. See also telegram to Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, April 8, 1864.
Washington March 31st 1864
MAJ. GEN. N. P. BANKS
COMD. G DEPT. OF THE GULF,
In addition to the directions sent you by Lieut. Towner, 1 for immediate concentration at New Orleans of all the forces you can spare from the defence of your Dept. preparatory to a move against Mobile, I would now add the following:
1st If sucsessful in your expedition against Schrieveport that you turn over the defence of the Red River to Gen. Steele and the Navy. 2