April 23, 1864: Sherman to Halleck

General William Tecumseh Sherman

While Sherman seems to be holding out some hope to Grant that Banks and Steele might combine forces and accomplish something, his dispatch to Halleck just sounds disgusted.

Official Records:


NASHVILLE, TENN., April 23, 1864-12 midnight.
(Received 2.45 a. m., 24th.)
Lieutenant-General GRANT:

General Corse says that General Banks and the fleet would again start for Shreveport to cover Steele’s advance. I will send a message round by Fort Smith, but have no doubt ere this he knows every-thing. By the 14th instant he must have been near Red River.

W. T. SHERMAN,
Major-General.

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HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Nashville, Tenn., April 23, 1864.
Major-General HALLECK:
Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I send you herewith official copies of letters this moment received from General Banks and Admiral Porter.* General Corse is here, having just come from Grand Ecore. He describes the battle more satisfactorily than I had it before. I will not express an opinion, but Banks had 17,000 men and A. J. Smith 10,000, and I do think that force well handled should have whipped Kirby Smith. General Corse says that General Banks ordered a retreat from the battle-field, which was near Mansfield, back to Grand Ecore, near 35 miles, that, too, when the enemy was also retreating. Our wounded, dead, and trains were left on the field. Of course that is defeat. I would not ask General Banks to send away Smith’s command under these circumstances, but I would ask him to renew his attack, which might have been made a success. I don’t hear of Steele since he was at Camden. The whole move has been too slow for complete success. General Corse speaks of all the troops being demoralized except those of A. J. Smith. I send these papers for the information of the War Department and of General Grant.

I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,
Major-General, Commanding.

This entry was posted in Frederick Steele, Nathaniel P. Banks, Red River Campaign, Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman. Bookmark the permalink.

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