War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0781 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, March 2, 1865.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

A telegraphic dispatch received this morning that Bulltown, south of Parkersburg, was captured this morning, and that our pickets were drawn in at Elizabeth, about forty miles from Parkersburg. I am not advised what forces we have in that region, if any.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, March 2, 1865.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

The following telegram has just been received. Everything has been stripped so bare here that you may be running great risk.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

ALEXANDRIA, VA., March 2, 1865.

(Received 2 p. m.)

Lieutenant Colonel J. H. TAYLOR,

Chief of Staff, Headquarters Defenses:

It is reported here this morning that a brigade of rebel cavalry (Fitz Lee's) is picketing the Rappahannock.

Respectfully,

H. H. WELLS,

Colonel, &c.

CITY POINT, VA., March 2, 1865.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War, Washington:

If the returns I have of troops in the Department of Washington are anything like correct there need not be the slightest apprehension for the safety of the capital. At this time if Lee could spare any considerable force it would be for the defense of points now threatened which are necessary for the very existence of his army. He would not send off any large body without my knowing it. If they should move toward Washington that would be known also. With the cavalry General Augur has at his command he can always have notice of any considerable body, and could dispose his force to meet their advance. The fact is, the enemy are reaping such advantages by the way of the Fredericksburg road that they are anxious to avoid attracting attention in that direction. I have ordered a force, mostly infantry, to prepare to go up the Rappahannock, as soon as transportation can be got for them, for the purpose of breaking up this trade, and shall try to break up the road at the same time. The force I send will draw everything the enemy has on the Potomac below Alexandria and on the Rappahannock, and will give General Augur a good opportunity of breaking the railroad up to the Rapidan. I would direct the force sent from here to do that, but it will be impossible for me to send any considerable amount of cavalry. Infantry cannot get there very well. It will be necessary to have a good man in command in West Virginia, and even then we cannot prevent occasional parties getting in on the railroad. I have recom-