With Hood’s army out of the way, we should have enough men available to start a campaign against Mobile. I wrote Gen. Halleck,
CITY POINT, VA., January 18, 1865-9 p. m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Washington, D. C.:
I now understand that Beauregard has gone west to gather up what can be saved from Hood’s army to bring against Sherman. If this be the case Selma and Montgomery will be easily reached. I do not believe, though, that General Thomas will ever get there from the north. He is too ponderous in his preparations and equipments to move through a country rapidly enough to live off of it. West of the Mississippi we do not want to do more than defend what we now hold, but I do want Canby to make a winter campaign, either from Mobile Bay or from Florida. You might order all the cavalry horses now in the West to Canby and direct him to make an independent campaign, looking to the capture of Mobile, first, if the job does not promise too long a one, and Montgomery and Selma, and the destruction of all roads machineshops, and stores, the main object.
Thomas can do without horses for some time; a portion of his troops could be sent by water to Canby. If Thomas does move in co-operation, probably the best route for him to take would be by way of Chattanooga, repairing the road to Rome, and starting from there. These I give as views. What I would order is, that Canby be furnished cavalry horses and be directed to prepare to commence a campaign, and that Thomas be telegraphed to to say what he could do, and when, and get his views upon the choice of routes, looking upon Selma as his objective. Thomas must make a campaign or spare his surplus troops.
U. S. GRANT,
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 13, p 273
O.R., I, xlv, part 2, p 609-10