sary to occupy by sending through the consul-general; I shall, however, inclose him a copy. I am not informed of the names of parties interested, only their initials, which I give as I receive them:
The rebels in this city have a quick and successful communication with Jeff. Davis and the authorities in Richmond in the following manner: Having plenty of money at their command they employ British subject, who are provided with British passports, and also with passports from Colonel--- (probably Jacob Thompson), which are plainly written, name and date of issue, on fine silk, and are ingeniously secreted in the lining of the coat. They carry dispatches which are made and carried in the same manner. These messengers wear metal buttons, which upon the inside dispatches are most minutely photographed, not perceptible to the naked eye, but are easily read by the aid of a powerful lens. Letters are written but are closely interlined with imperceptible ink, as they term it (to which when a certain chemical is applied is easily deciphered). The messenger arriving at Baltimore receives additional instructions from "B
," and proceeds to Washington. Here he undergoes at thorough examination, is searched and permitted to pass he takes a southeasterly direction to Port Tobacco, where he is sheltered by a widow, "Mrs. F
," and at dad of night crosses in an India rubber boat to the south side of the Potomac; thence he goes to Bowling Green, where his rebel passport is used, to Guerrilla "B
," who hastens him on to Richmond. He returns by the same route. The last trip was made in fourteen days (December 14-28). Boxes are received from Port Tobacco, marked "Mineral Specimens," with dispatches secreted in the lining. This information is reliable, from a person who has seen the dispatches and has personal knowledge of the facts. I hope to be able to get information more fully,-names and when the next messenger leaves, &c.- which I shall lose no time in communicating to the Department.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. J. KIMBALL,
U. S. Consular Agent.
WASHINGTON, D. C, January 7, 1865-11 a.m.
I send you by telegraph General Orders, Numbers 1, relieving General Butler from his command. It will not be entered on the files or published here till you have it delivered to him. Please answer by telegraph the date that General Butler is relieved.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 1.
January 7, 1865.
By direction of the President of the United States, Major General B. F. Butler is relieved from the command of the Department of North Carolina and Virginia. Lieutenant-General Grant will designate an officer to take this command temporarily. Major-General Butler, on being relieved, will repair to Lowell, Mass., and report by letter to the Adjutant-General of the Army.
By order of the Secretary of War:
W. A. NICHOLS,