War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0653 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, February 23, 1865.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Armies of the United States, near Petersburg, Va.:

GENERAL: We have this day received reliable information to the effect that the insurgent ram, intelligence respecting which at first excited some apprehension, is likely to be indefinitely detained either at Ferrol, in Spain, or Lisbon, in Portugal. It is consequently believed that you will have no occasion to take into account the probability of her appearance in Hampton Roads as an element of your military combinations.

I am, general, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

February 23, 1865-12.20 a. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT,

City Point:

I am now trying to ascertain whether or not I shall push out my pickets in front of Heth and Wilcox at once, or after daylight. If they leave for Weldon some of pickets will be put in position to determine the time of the movement, if it be possible. Seven deserters confirm the first report made in regard to Hill's corps.

JNO. G. PARKE,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

February 23, 1865-9.45 a. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

From deserters I am now informed that no corps of the enemy has been ordered off. From the movement of Miles' pickets the enemy concluded that an attack from [us] was to be expected, and on their right. Heth's division was moved to the right of their line to meet this. General Wright telegraphs 9.05 a. m.:

A deserter from Heth's division, just brought in says that the division has not moved, but confirms the general that the troops are under marching orders.

JNO. G. PARKE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

February 23, 1865-10.40 a. m.

Colonel BOWERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, City Point:

Fifty-seven deserters reported this morning. General Wright reports forty-seven came in on his front during the night . This leaves only ten for the rest of the line. I think this number will be increased by later reports.

ALEX. S. WEBB,

Brevet Major-General and Chief of Staff.