War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0029 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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CITY POINT, VA., January 4, 1865.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I am constrained to request the removal of Major General B. F. Butler from the command of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina. I do this with reluctance, but the good of the service requires it. In my absence General Butler necessarily commands, and there is a lack of confidence felt in his military ability, making him an unsafe commander for a large army. His administration of the affairs of his department is also objectionable.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

CONFIDENTIAL.] NAVY DEPARTMENT, January 4, 1865.

[General U. S. GRANT:]

MY DEAR SIR: To-day we received dispatches from Porter, dated the 29th ultimo, stating that the enemy are removing the guns from Fort Fisher, preparatory to changing the arrangement of their defenses. The Philadelphia Inquirear of to-day has all the information contained in the documents that have just come from Richmond through General Butler's headquarters. I think last summer, after my visit to you with General Gillmore, that you were under the impression that one of us gave publicity to the object of our visit. I trusted to time to enable you to discover all the leaks in the vicinity of your headquarters. Mr. Blair, sr., alone, will leave Washington Saturday, and arrive off City Point about noon, in the screw steamer Don, Captain Parker, commanding the Potomac Flotilla. As he goes by consent of the President, at the request of Mr. Davis, I ask for Mr. Blair that you will make arrangements to get him through comfortably as early as practicable, and as secretly. I have suggested to him to lay-to off City Point, and let an officer go on shore from the vessel and receive your directions as to the best method of going through. The Don can go up as far as desired and remain until Mr. Blair returns, and I will direct Cpatain Parker to report to you and receive any directions you may give.

Please acknowledge the receipt of this letter by telegraph.

I got the President to put into the old capitol the man who caused to be published the Wilmington expedition. Yesterday the Baltimore American sent me word that they had information that another expedition was fitting out. I sent them word that the Government would deal very summarily with the first party who published it. To-night Mr. Gobright, the agent of the Associated Press, informed me that he had such news from Hampton Roads, but had suppressed it.

I am, most truly, sir, your obedient servant,

G. V. FOX.

The country will not forgive us for another failure at Wilmington, and I have so informed Porter.

CITY POINT, VA., January 4, 1865.

Rear-Admiral D. D. PORTER,

Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron:

Your letter brought by the hands of Lieutenant Porter is received. The instructions to General Terry were given before its receipt, but you