War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0170 N. AND SE. VA., N. C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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CITY POINT, January 18, 1865 - 7 p. m.

(Received 8 p. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

The confirmation of Thomas and Sheridan to the rank of major-general in the Regular Army makes two vacancies. I hope General Terry will get one of these.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

CONFIDENTIAL.] WASHINGTON, January 18, 1865 - 1 p. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

Mr. Clay, rebel agent in Canada, said to a confidential friend last week that if Fort Fisher fell it would be their policy to hold Wilmington at all hazards, even if they had to give up both Petersburg and Richmond, for Wilmington was of more importance to them than the other places. It would be hard, he said, even to live without Wilmington. Richmond was not necessary to Wilmington, but Wilmington was indispensable to Richmond. These were his very words, but whether they were his own conclusions or the substance of information received from Richmond, my information can't tell.

C. D. DANA,

Assistant Secretary of War.

CITY POINT, VA., January 18, 1865 - 2.30 p. m.

(Received 5 p. m.)

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Washington:

If General Tower can be spared from his present duties, please order him report to General Ord for duty. He wants him to relieve General Shepley in the command of the District of Norfolk.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

JANUARY 18, 1865.

Major General GEORGE G. MEADE,

Commanding Army of the Potomac:

* * * * * * *

The following is the organization (present) of Early's old corps: Gordon commanding corps; Battle's division (Rhode's old); Pegram's division (Early's old); Grimes' division (Gordon's old). These three divisions compromise entire remnants of Ewell's old corps. Early is at Staunton with a small command. Loss of Fort Fisher not considered by the rebel press as of any particular importance.

JNO. C. BABCOCK.