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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 46, Part 2 (Appomattox Campaign)
Page 901 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

CITY POINT, VA., March 9, 1865.

(Received 8.45 p.m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

The following is from to-day's Richmond Dispatch. No other news in the papers:

All still continues quiet on the lines about Petersburg and Richmond. The heavy rains of yesterday have again rendered the ground unfit for the movement of artillery. The enemy on the 1st instant again occupied Suffolk with 1,500 or 2,000 troops, mostly negroes.

A COMMERCIAL TRANSACTION.

For some days past parties in this city have been sending large quantities of manufactured tobacco hence to Fredericksburg. Report said that this tobacco was to be traded with the Yankees for bacon, and that General Singleton was the prime mover in the arrangement, this being the business that brought him again to Richmond. It was transported to Hamilton's Crossing by rail, and thence hauled to Fredericksburg, five miles distant, in wagons. The Yankees were expected to come up in vessels to Fredericksburg, bring bacon, and carry off the tobacco. On Monday last 200,000 pounds of tobacco had been sent up the Fredericksburg railroad, 40,000 pounds of which had been hauled to Fredericksburg and stored in a warehouse on the Rappahannock, convenient for shipping, and the other 160,000 pounds were in thirty-one box railroad cars at Hamilton's Crossing.

The enemy came up to Fredericksburg in gun-boats on Monday night, but brought no bacon that we have been able to hear of. Their first step was to send a party of cavalry to Hamilton's Crossing, who set fire to and destroyed all the cars and all the tobacco there. This party also burned the bridge over the Massaponax Creek a short distance this side of Hamilton's Crossing. There are two reports as to what was done with the tobacco in Fredericksburg-one that the enemy carried it off, the other that they set fire to the warehouse and destroyed both house and tobacco. It is ascertained that they burned the wagons, five in number, employed in hauling the tobacco from Hamilton's to Fredericksburg, and carried off the teams. So ends one of the most brilliant schemes of our later-day speculations. The only thing to be seriously regretted about the business is the loss by the Fredericksburg Railroad Company of the thirty-one valuable freight cars. We presume the company would not have risked its property by leaving it at so exposed a point as Hamilton's Crossing unless they had felt satisfied that some understanding had been come to with the enemy that it would not be molested. The common report was that the enemy would interfere neither with the road nor the tobacco while this bacon-tobacco traffic was going on. The whole thing seemed ridiculous enough, it must be admitted, but there can, at the present time, be no report so absurd as not to find believers. The loss of the tobacco is a small matter; there is much more of the article still left in Richmond than either Government or people know what to do with.

THE NEGRO SOLDIER BILL.

House bill to increase the military force of the Confederate States by putting negroes into the army was passed by the Senate yesterday by a majority of one, with an amendment providing that not more than 25 per cent. of the male slaves, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, in any State shall be called for.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

CITY POINT, VA., March 9, 1865-2.30 p.m.

(Received 9.30 p.m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

My views about the operations of Mr. Singleton and Judge Hughes are merely suspicions, based upon what is said in Richmond of the object of Singleton's visit, and of the trade that is actually carried on. I recognize the importance of getting out Southern products if it can


Page 901 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 46, Part 2 (Appomattox Campaign)
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