FEBRUARY 21, 1865.
Major General GEORGE G. MEADE,
Commanding Army of the Potomac:
I have the honor to state that fifty-four deserters from the enemy have this day been examined at this office.
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One man reports having heard that Columbia is burned. Captain Reaves, Fifth-ninth Alabama, states that the soldiers will not stand the introduction of colored troops among them. One man reports that it takes the cars at Blue Mountain, at the head of the Alabama and Tennessee Railroad, and hence to Selma, Ala; from there to Montgomery by boat; thence by rail to West Point, in Georgia, and then to Branchville; but exactly wy what routes from West Point he does not know. He state that as the Georgia troops pass through that State the men desert almost by companies. One company, led by its orderly sergeant, left the cars before reaching West Point, leaving a lieutenant the only representative of it. This information the informant obtained from two friends of his, who had come part of the way with these troops.
Captain, in Charge of Office.
WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 24. Washington, February 21, 1865.
Ordered, That a national salute be fired to-morrow noon, February 22, t West Point, and at every fort, arsenal, and army headquarters of the United States, in honor of the restoration of the flag of the Union, upon Fort Sumter.
By ordered of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 85. Washington, february 21, 1865.
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8. Upon receipt of this order by the commanding general Department of Washington, the Third U. S. Infantry will be immediately put en route for the Army of the Potomac. On their arrival the commanding officer will report to the commanding general for orders. The quartermaster's department will furnish the necessary transportation.
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17. By direction of the President, Lieutenant Colonel Micheal P. Small, chief commissary of the Twenty-fourth Army Corps, is hereby transferred to there staff of the Department of Virginia.
18. By direction of the President, Lieutenant Colonel Richard H. Jackson, assistant inspector-general of the Twenty-fifth Army Corps, is hereby transferred to the staff of the Department of Virginia.
19. By direction of the President, Major Theodore Read, assistant adjutant-general, U. S. Volunteers, is hereby assigned to duty with the