July 22 1863. I received a reply from Gen. Halleck concerning my idea to move on Mobile next. He wrote,
WASHINGTON, July 22, 1863-11. 30 a. m.
Major-General GRANT, Vicksburg, MISS.:
Yours of the 15th and 18th just received. Should Johnston escape and join Bragg, the NINTH Corps must be sent to Rosecrans by quickest route. If not, it may be used elsewhere. Before attempting Mobile I think it will be best to clean up a little. Johnston should be disposed of; also Price, Marmaduke, &c., so as to hold the line of the Arkansas River. This will enable us to withdraw troops from Missouri, Vicksburg, and Port Hudson, remodeled so as to be tenable by small garrisons; also assist General Banks in cleaning out Western Louisiana. When these things are accomplished there will be a large available force to operate either on Mobile or Texas. The navy is not ready for co-operation. Should Fort Sumter fall, iron-clads can be sent to assist at Mobile. Please send copy to General Banks.
H. W. HALLECK.
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 71
O.R., I, xxiv, part 3, p 542