arrived at Canton, near Vicksburg, on his return, February 26th:
Much more had been expected at the North from the preparations made for the movement, and the statements circulated as to its object.
It was the general belief that the expedition was to penetrate as far east as Selma, one of the interior points of greatest value to the enemy, and also turn upon Mobile.
This impression was current at General Grant's headquarters and at Washington, and General Grant himself had written to Halleck, under date of January 15th, 1864, in the same letter which unfolded his plan for the general Spring campaign as follows:
I shall direct Sherman, therefore, to move out to Meridian with his spare force—the cavalry going from Corinth, and destroy the railroads east and south of there so effectually that the enemy will not attempt to rebuild them during the rebellion.
He will then return, unless the opportunity of going into Mobile with the force he has, appears perfectly plain.