day evening, and threw in a number of shells, to which our batteries responded. A portion of this column moved up the river during the night and crossed the Saluda and Broad Rivers, the main tributaries fo the Congaree, which meet near Columbia, a few miles above the city. During this movement General Beauregard evacuated the city, and on Friday mornign the enemy entered and took possession without opposition. Our troops were withdrawn to a position some twenty miles from Columbia, where they remained on yesterday. The enemy's forces entering Columbia consisted of Sherman's main army, a large portion of which immediately moved up the Charlotte road, while another portion has moved down in the direction of Charleston. The latter city has doubtless ere this been evacuated.
CHARLESTON, February 14.
The enemy's gun-boats and one monitor have been shelling our picket-lines on James Island all day. All quiet in our immediate front. Nothing definite from above. The enemy keep up a steady shelling of the city.
CHARLESTON, February 15.
All quiet along our lines. The enemy this morning are reported to be moving in force near Columbia, on the Lexington road. it is reported that they crossed the Congaree to-day.
FROM WILMINGTON-FURIOUS CANNONADING AT FORT ANDERSON.
WILMINGTON, February 18.
The enemy shelled Fort Anderson furiously yesterday afternoon, nearly all night, and this morning it is reported that a land force also attacked our forces at Anderson, but were repulsed. Cannonading is still going on at 1 p. m. We have no particulars. A dispatch has been received here stating that a force of the enemy, 4,000 strong, 2,000 of it cavalry, are advancing from Knoxville and had reached Greeneville, which is fifty-four miles from Bristol. This expedition is supposed to be another raid on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. The telegraph operator at Weldon reported on yesterday that a raid from Washington or New Berne, N. C., was in progress, the supposed destination of the raiders being Rocky Mount Station, on the Wilmington road, in Edgecombe County. The wires continued to work during yesterday morning through to Wilmington, however, from which would appear that they had not then struck the road. A movement of the enemy was reported yesterday in heavy force upon Kinston, N. C., and it was supposed in official quarters that Forster's forces had been moved up to New Berne. A cavalry raid was also reported in the direction of Tarborough. The force moving from New Berne has fifty or sixty pieces of artillery. We shall near more of these movements in a few days. We are quiet certain that they are in progress as we write. Colonel Hatch, one of our commissioners of exchange, has gone to Wilmington, at which place he will, during the week, exchange 10,000 prisoners. We may remark here that the exchange of prisoners on james River will at the same time go on uninterrupted. A desperate affair occurred last Tuesday in Lunenburg County between some deserters from the Confederate army and some of the Ninth Virginia Cavalry, aided by citizens. Several on both sides were wounded. The deserters were finally captured. General Ewell, commanding Department of Henrico, reports a wholesale robbery of nearly 100 returned paroled prisoners on Saturday night between Camp Lee and the city. Other robberies of returned prisoners are reported as occurring in the streets of Richmond.
U. S. GRANT,
(Copy by Meade to corps commanders.)
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 20, 1865.
Major P. S. MICHIE,
Chief Engineer, Headquarters Army of the James:
Telegraph me at once the exact condition of the Dutch Gap Canal, as to depth of water which can be carried through, and nature of impediments and amount of works, and of what king, necessary to make it