War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0599 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

February 20, 1865-10.30 p. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

It has just been reported to me that among the deserters who came in yesterday were twenty-seven from one company, nearly all bringing their arms with them. They say another company will probably come in to-night. I would like to have some more of your printed orders to distribute among them.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General, Commanding.

CITY POINT, VA., February 20, 1865.

Major-General MEADE:

The orders you request will by sent out to you in the morning.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

CITY POINT, February 20, 1865.

(Received 11.15 p. m.)

Major-General MEADE:

If I take cavalry from you, other will be ordered to take its place the moment that is decided on. It would probable take a week to move a division from the Valley.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

CITY POINT, February 20, 1865.

Major-General MEADE:

The following [paragraphs are extracted from the Richmond papers of to-day:

We now know that Charleston was evacuated on Tuesday last, and that on Friday the enemy took possession of Columbia. It is reported that our forces under General Beauregard are moving in the direction of Charlotte. Official intelligence was received at the War Office last night that Sherman was on yesterday morning advancing toward and was near Winnsborough, a point on the railroad leading to Charlotte and thirty miles north of Columbia. Charlotte is throunged with refugees from Columbia, who report that some of Wheeler's cavalry plundered the city before the evacuation. Up to tuesday last it was uncertain whether Columbia would come within the immediate range of Sherman's proposed route, and consequently the public ming was not prepared for such an early solution of the question. The Government had, however, just two weeks ago taken the precaution to remove its specie deposited there, amounting to several millions of dollars, and within the past few days all of the dies and plates belonging to the Treasury Department, together with the supplies of treasury notes on hand, were safely conveyed away. The enemy being in possession of Branchville, Orangeburg, and Kingsville, precluded movements upon the roads leading to Charleston, and an unfortunate accident upon the Charlotte road, cutting off nearly all the rolling-stock of the road from columbia, prevented the authorities from making use of that avenued to save other valuable materials in the city. A large quantity of medical stores belonging to the Government were there, one-half of which were saved, and the rest, for want of time and transportation, destroyed. The presses and fiztures for printing treasury notes in the establishements of Evans & Cogswell and Keatinge & Ball were necessarily abandoned, together with the other extensive machinery of those well-known firms. The first-named establishment alone had 102 printing presses, and was unquestionably the largest and best equipped publishing house in the South. The enemy's forces operating west of Columbia reached the bankis of the Congaree opposite the city on Thurs-