position are known to the commanding general, says that perhaps it may be repaired in ten days, but that probably fifteen will be required. The army have been put upon half rations. One of our correspondents says, "Evacuation is upon everyone's lips. Commissary stores are very low;" and our other friends in Richmond send us word that evacuation is not only a matter of talk, but a matter of earnest. Early is in the neighborhood of Staunton with one division of infantry and about 2,000 cavalry. On the account of the failure in the supply of lead, the rebels are thrown back to the resources of that kind which come over the Central road, and out friends [say] that if the road was destroyed near Staunton the supply would be completely broken up. The information before communicated in regard to railroad supplies is renewed as follows, namely: That the railroad companies in the South have contracted for block tin, zinc, and other necessaries of like nature to be sent to them in some way through Norfolk; it is understood that the supplies are to come from a firm or firms in Philadelphia; that the negotiation is to be perfected by the exchange of cotton, which is to go down the Blackwater in small boats. This information comes from a different source from that by which it was formerly received. Great depression is said to exist everywhere in Richmond. As a specimen of it the following is given: At a meeting of the board of directors of the railroad company, of which one of our friends is superintendent and was present, the president of the road, being the father of General Breckinridge's acting assistant adjutant-general, came in and met his son there. The first question was, "What is the news?" to which the officer replied, "Damned bad. If Sherman cannot be stopped, there is an end to the business." Our friends quite naturally send us word that the Union sentiment is largely on the gain.
GEO. H. SHARPE.
Washington City, January 13, 1865.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a copy of a telegram from Lieutenant-General Grant to you, dated the 9th instant, relative to the short supply of forage on hand at City Point. The dispatch having been referred to Colonel S. L. Brown, I herewith inclose a copy of his report, which shows that a large quantity of forage has been and is en route for that army, and I trust that it will arrive in time to prevent any very great inconvenience or injury to the animals thereof. In regard to the competency of Colonel Brown for the responsible position he holds in this department, I respectfully remark that for the past year he has had many difficulties to contend with, and has surmounted them all. No part of the army which he has had to furnish with forage has suffered, although he had not been able to accumulate a large stock on hand, as was desirable, and that it has been better supplied than in the West and Southwest. The expedition of General Sherman has had to be furnished with a large quantity of forage. This was rather an unexpected demand, and has restricted in some degree the supply for General Grant's army. Brigadier-General Ingall's daily forage reports, received at this office, show that