that you should send some intelligent men to crawl out two or three times every night from your picket-line to the edge of this ravine, to listen there and see if the enemy run any work in that ravine. They might run an underground gallery to that ravine and then open a trench in it, or they might move quietly into the ravine and open a trench out of sight.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. R. JOHNSON,
P. S.-Please report to me whether you think you have enough men for you line, and, if not, how many more you want.
B. R. J.
PETERSBURG, July 7, 1864.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President Confederate States:
Mr. PRESIDENT: Lieutenant Albergetts, commanding scouts at Rowland's Mill, on river road, and north of Harrison's Point, reports that during forepart of yesterday six transports passed down James River, carrying troops with arms. During the day a number of transports with a few troops and stores passed up the river. During the latter part of yesterday six more transports passed down the river loaded with troops. At dark three transports were at Jordan's Point taking on troops, and the wharf was apparently crowded with troops awaiting transportation. As the troops passed Harrison's Landing they cheered heartily. Coupling this report with the statement of the New York Herald of the 4th, that at daybreak on the 3rd it was reported at Martinsburg that a body of our troops were approaching that place, and that after some fighting at Bunker Hill General S[igel[evacuated M. and fell back to Harper's Ferry, I fear the troops reported to have descended the James River are on the way to Washington. I have inquired whether Lieutenant A. saw himself what he reported, how near he was to the river, and whether he was certain that the troops were armed.
It is not known you whether any troops have been withdrawn from the front of Petersburg, but a corps on their left, especially if held in reserve, might have been taken during the night of the 4th without being discovered. The Herald also states that Hunter with Crook and Averell are in the vicinity of Charleston, on the Kanawha, which is confirmed by a dispatch from General Morgan. It is so repugnant to Grant's principles and practice to send troops from him that I had hoped before resorting to it he would have preferred attacking me. It is possible that some of these men may belong to the regiments to be discharged, of which sixty-eight regiments go out this month. I do not know how many belong to Grant's army, but I believe all from Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, and Maryland, and several from Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. I learn, too, that Sheridan's and Wilson's cavalry are encamped on Bland's farm, just south of Jordan's Point, and many of the men seen about the wharf might have belonged to them. The probabilities are that they are troops bound for Washington, and if Hunter is brought up the Ohio and around by railroad Early may be opposed by a force too large for him to manage. As soon as I ascertain more definitely I will send