and destroy communication south of that point. General Breckinridge is in Richmond, and it is very generally reported has been tendered the appointment of Secretary of War. Four million of treasury notes have been received at department, to pay off solders of Lee's army. There has as yet been no official appointment of General Lee to the command of al the armies. Rosser's cavalry are said to have a slight skirmish with Sheridan's men, a raiding party, last Monday near Edenburg, which was driven back beyond Woodstock.
Deserters report, in addition to what we already know in regard to the movements contemplated with the rebel gun-boats, that a detail from Terry's brigade of about 500 men was made on Sunday night. They at that time supposed the gun-boats would come down the river. Part of this force was to cross in boats to Farrar's Island, from near Howlett's house, and proceed to our obstructions and remove them, whilst the other party was to march to Crow's Nest and spike a large gun there, a 100-pounder, the only gun they say their boats are afraid of. After proceeding a short distance our pickets fired upon them, and the men refused to advance farther. General Pickett was there himself urging them forward, but they refused and returned to their former position. These deserters say that Fort Darling is manned by men from the gun-boats. The Virginia has gone to Richmond for repairs. She lost two men killed and eight wounded by the explosion of one of our shells in her forward port-hole. Her smoke stack was also carried away. A torpedo-boat was run down in the James River by the rebel flag of-truce boat on Thursday night, and one officer drowned. On the morning of the 24th Field's division, of Longstreet's corps, got under arms and was marched a short distance on the Darbytown road, about a mile. The men supposed they were to march toward the James River. They halted, stacked arms, and after remaining there a few hours, returned to their former position.
PAUL A. OLIVER.
JANUARY 29, 1865.
Major General J. G. PARKE,
Commanding Army of the Potomac:
A telegram from City Point, dated 29th instant, 9.30 a. m., states:
We have information from Richmond direct. No news. Do not credit the report of Mahone's division having moved. Have nothing to corroborate it.
P. A. OLIVER.
On a re-examination of deserters this a. m. sufficient evidence has been produced, in connection with the statement of the Twenty-third South Carolina man received last night, to show that Mahone's division entire moved down the Boydton plank road on Wednesday or Thursday last (probably Thursday) for a point unknown, though supposed to Seldon, where it was reported a raid was being made by our forces in that vicinity; also, that Gordon's division moved from near Burgess' Mills up the Boydton plank road to Mahoane's old camps and occupied them. Informant, of the Fifth Louisiana, states that his brigade broke up quarters previously occupied by a Mississippi brigade (probably Harris). The news from Gordon's division received yesterday made no such statement as they have made this a. m., and reported all quiet, and no changes. It frequently occurs that men will deny having any information to avoid a long and tedious examination, especially after having traveled a long distance in the cold and undergoing several previous examinations.
J. C. BABCOCK.