JANUARY 7TH, 1865: General Sherman wrote something about his plans to Rear Admiral Dahlgren, revealing his understanding of the importance of sea communications and the support of concentrated naval gunfire where possible:
"The letter you send me is from Admiral Porter, at Beaufort, N.C.. I am not certain that there is a vessel in Port Royal from Admiral Porter, or I would write him. If there be one to return to him I beg you to send this, with a request that I be advised as early as possible as to the condition of the railroad from Beaufort, N.C., back to New Berne; and so on, toward Goldsboro;
"also all maps and information of the country above New Berne; how many cars and locomotives are available to us on that road; whether there is good navigation from Beaufort, N.C., via the Pamlico Sound, up the Neuse River, etc.
"I want Admiral Porter to know that I expect to be ready to move about the 15th; that I have one head of column across the Savannah River at this point; will soon have another at Port Royal Ferry, and expect to make another crossing at Sister's Ferry.
"I still adhere to my plan submitted to General Grant, and only await provisions and forage."