navigation of the Mississippi a matter of perpetual uncertainty. This ought not to be. Its destruction is a work of certainty, requiring but small force and a short time, and will contribute greatly to the success of the cause of the Government, if accomplished without unnecessary delay. I await instructions from you upon this point with anxiety, promising that no unnecessary detention of the command of General Smith will be made." LS, DNA, RG 94, War Records Office, Union Battle Reports. O. R., I, xxxiv, part 1, 186-87. On April 26, USG endorsed this letter. "Respectfully forwarded to the Secretary of War for the information of the President" ES, DNA, RG 94, War Records Office, Union Battle Reports. On April 13, Banks addressed to USG a lengthy report of the Red River campaign. LS, DNA, RG 94, War Records Office, Union Battle Reports ; copies (3, dated April 14), DLC-Nathaniel P. Banks. O. R., I, xxxiv, part 1, 181-85.
(Private & Confidential) 1
Head Quarters of the Army, In Field
Fortress Monroe Va Apl. 2d 1864
MAJ. GEN. B. F. BUTLER,
COMD. G DEPT. OF VA & N. CAROLINA,
In the spring campaign, which it is desirable shall commence at as early a day as practicable, it is proposed to have co-operative action of all the Armies in the field as far as this object can be accomplished. It will not be possible to unite our Armies into two or three large ones, to act as so many units, owing to the absolute necessity of holding on to the territory already taken from the enemy. But, generally speaking, concentration can be practically effected by Armies moving to the interior of the enemy's country