HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY CORPS,
April 1, 1865.
Brigadier General M. W. GARY,
Send out scouts immediately to discover if any change has been made in enemy's force on this side. General Lee has the report that hardly any troops are in our front. Let them report as quickly as possible.
April 2, 1865. (Via Petersburg. Received 10.40 o'clock.)
General J. C. BRECKINRIDGE:
I see no prospect of doing more than holding our position here till night. I am not certain that I can do that. If I can I shall withdraw to-night north of the Appomattox, and, if possible, it will be better to withdraw the whole line to-night from James River. The brigades on Hatcher's Run are cut off from us; enemy have broken through our lines and intercepted between us and them, and there is no bridge over which they can cross the Appomattox this side of Goode's or Beaver's, which are not very far from the Danville railroad. Our only chance, then, of concentrating our forces, is to do so near Danville railroad, which I shall endeavor to do at once. I advise that all preparation be made for leaving Richmond to-night. I will advise you later, according to circumstances.
R. E. LEE.
RICHMOND, VA., April 2, 1865.
General R. E. LEE,
The Secretary of War has shown me your dispatch. To move to-night will involve the loss of many valuables, both for the want of time to pack and of transportation. Arrangements are progressing, and unless you otherwise advise the start will be made.
PETERSBURG, April 2, 1865.
His Excellency President DAVIS,
I think it is absolutely necessary that we should abandoned our position to-night. I have given all the necessary orders on the subject to the troops, and the operation, though difficult, I hope will be performed successfully. I have directed General Stevens to send an officer to Your Excellency to explain the routes to you by which the troops will be moved to Amelia Court-House, and furnish you with a guide and any assistance that you may require for yourself.
R. E. LEE.
April 2, 1865. (Received 4.55 o'clock.)
General J. C. BRECKINRIDGE,
Secretary of War, Richmond:
I think the Danville road will be safe until to-morrow.
R. E. LEE.