WASHINGTON, January 9, 1865-9.20 p.m.
City Point, Va.;
Your orders about Schofield's corps were immediately transmitted. As soon as an answer is received transportation by the most expeditious routes will be ordered. I fear the corps is much scattered. You said nothing in your orders about the artillery.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
WASHINGTON, D. C., January 9, 1865-11.30 a.m.
City Point, Va.:
General Butler's report of the Wilmington expedition will be returned by to-day's mail.
GEO. K. LEET,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
JANUARY 9, 1865
Major General GEORGE G. MEADE,
Commanding Army of the Potomac:
We have information this morning from three of our agents in Richmond coming by different sources. The information is down to yesterday morning. One of agents started on Saturday afternoon, and having reached the outposts on the Seven-Mile road, which has been the usual passing point, was turned back to Richmond, and was obliged to come yesterday through Hanover County and beyond the Chickahominy. From all of these agents, and as we believe, the information being derived from different and independent sources, we get word that there are now some facts going to show that the Confederate Government is preparing to abandon the city of Richmond. It seems to be understood within the rebel lines that it will not do for them to wait for us to open the spring campaign, and that this army by a sudden assault must either be driven from its present position on the James River or that the Confederate Government be moved to some other point. One of our agents says, in writing:
It is reported and believed that much machinery is being moved south, and also that the Clothing Bureau is being moved away.
The are certainly making arrangements to leave Richmond. The laboratory is in process of removal.
Another writes as follows:
There is no material here now to keep the principal Government shops at work. The work of the female operatives at the laboratory has been suspended for lack of material. At the Tredegar works there has not been a large gun cast foro a month or more.
The people are in a deplorable situation. There is neither food nor clothing to be had; the rations for the soldiers in hospital have even been reduced. Since the capture of the salt-works the price of salt has gone up from 50 cents to $1.25 per pound; flour is between $600 and