As we’ve seen, Steele asked Halleck to overrule Sherman’s order to take all his troops to Shreveport. Halleck passes the decision on to Grant.
WASHINGTON, March 13, 1864-12.30 p.m.
General Steele telegraphs that Banks, with 17,000, and Sherman, with 10,000 men, move from Alexandria on Shreveport and wish him to co-operate. He says that he can go with 7,000 effective men, but objects to the movement on account of bad roads and guerrillas, and prefers to remain on the defensive line of the Arkansas. I have replied that he should co-operate with Banks and Sherman, unless you direct otherwise. His objection on account of guerrillas threatening his rear will apply equally to an advance at any time into the enemy’s country.
H. W. HALLECK,