“I have just received two private letters … giving deplorable accounts of General Banks’ mismanagement”

I have received two letters from soldiers serving under Gen. Banks that have spoken in the harshest terms of his inadequacy as a commander.  I have also been forwarded by Gen. Sherman a letter from Adm. Porter that is very critical of the conduct of the Red River campaign.  I understand that Banks is very important politically, but this cannot continue.  I wrote Gen. Halleck,

CULPEPER COURT-HOUSE, VA., April 25, 1864-8 p. m.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff:

A. J. Smith will have to stay with General Banks until the gun-boats are out of their difficulty. General Banks ought to be ordered to New Orleans and have all further execution on Red River in other hands. I have just received two private letters, one from New Orleans, and one (anonymous) from the Thirteenth Corps, giving deplorable accounts of General Banks’ mismanagement. His own report and these letters clearly show all his disasters to be attributable to his incompetency. Send troops for General Sherman where he wants them.




The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 10, p 351

O.R., I, xxxiv, part 3, p 279

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