Washington, D.C., June 17, 1865.
Maj. Gen. P. H. SHERIDAN,
New Orleans La.:
I have your dispatch of 14th. That of 12th June was received here 14th, and answered fully by telegraph and mail 15th. I sent with the Twenty-fifth Army Corps six steamers specially adapted to Texas trade--Matagorda, Rebecca Clyde, Cossack, Tonawanda, Rebecca Barton, and Crescent. The twin-screw Government transports and lighters-Stanton, Welles, Foote, and Porter---were ordered, but, though on duty on the South Atlantic Coast, reported certain alterations and repairs indispensable before sailing on the long voyage to the Gulf. Three of them have been repaired and sailed some time since. You have at Mobile the Tamaulipas, iron stern-wheel, bought and sent South expressly for Texas service. I regret much any inconvenience or delay, but could only send such steamers as were in existence, and could not order the vessels to sea until repairs reported necessary were made. There are few steamers fitted for the Texas coast in existence. Remember that ocean steamers are built on a different plan from the Western river steamers, and the Texas trade, never very large, had built up a few, and only a few, light-draft ocean steamers of special models, some of which have been destroyed during the war, and nearly all that remain have been taken into Government service, and all are now, I believe, in Weitzel's fleet. The four twin-screws were built by the Quartermaster's Department specially for this service, and were gathered from the Atlantic Coast, and sent to you with all speed. Replacing the Porter's donkey pump still detains her [sic]. This Department, when Weitzel sailed, had more than 33,000 soldiers afloat in ocean steamships, besides Steele's corps. No great nation ever before put such a transport fleet on the ocean. It has been a great and costly effort. Nine light-draft steamers have been sent to you. In such an expedition some disappointed expectations and delays of some few vessels are unavoidable. I trust that all will yet work well.
M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster. General and Brevet Major-G
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