"HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, December 18, 1864. (Via hilton Head.)
Maj. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN,
My DEAR GENERAL: Yours of the 13th, by Major Anderson, is just received. I congratulate you on your splendid success, and shall very soon expect to hear of the crowning work of your new campaign in the capture of Savimnah. Your march will stand out prominently as the great one of this great war. When Savannah falls, then for another raid south through the center of the Confederacy. But I will not anticipate. General Grant is expected here this morning, and will probably write you his own views. I do not learn from your letter or from Major Anderson that you are in want of anything which we have not Provided at Hilton Head. Thinking it possible that you might want more field artillery, I had prepared several batteries, but the great difficulty of foraging horses on the coast will prevent our sending any unless you actually need them. The hay crop this year is short, and the Quartermasters Department has great difficulty in procuring a supply for our animals. General Thomas has defeated Hood near Nashville, and it is hoped that he will completely crush his army. Breckinridge, at last accounts, was trying to form a junction near Murfreesborough; but as Thomas is between them Breckinridge must either retreat or be defeated. General Rosecrans made very bad work of it in Missouri, allowing Price with a small force to overrun the State and destroy millions of property. Orders have been issued for all officers and detachments having three mouths or more to serve to rejoin your army via Savannah; those having less than three months to serve will be retained by General Thomas. Should you capture Charleston, I hope that by some accident the place may be destroyed, and if a little salt should be sown upon its site it may prevent the growth of future crops of nullification and secession.
Yours, truly, H. W. HALLECK, Major- General and Chief of Staff."
[placed into evidence at the war claims trial against Sherman]