War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 1244 N. AND SE. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY CORPS,

February 20, 1865.

Lieutenant Colonel W. H. TAYLOR,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Northern Virginia:

Scouts report that three transports with infantry passed up the James on the 18th, and they learned troops had passed up for some days previous.

J. LONGSTREET,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY CORPS,

February 20, 1865.

Major General FITZHUGH LEE,

Commanding Cavalry:

General Gary reported on the 16th that some fifteen Yankee cavalry came across the Chickahominy at Long Bridge and went up as far as Bottom's Bridge. They returned unmolested. General Longstreet desires you to arrange so as to be advised promptly of any such moves of the enemy in small or large force and always endeavor to cut off their retreat and capture or punish them severely. I will endeavor to have the telegraph office moved out to near your headquarters, on the Nine-Mile road.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

O. LATROBE,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DIVISION,

February 20, 1865.

Major R. P. DUNCAN,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

MAJOR: Nothing of unusual interest to report this morning. Five men of Gracie's and one of Ransom's brigade deserted to the enemy last night.

Very respectfully, yours,

B. R. JOHNSON,

Major-General.

CONFIDENTIAL.] HEADQUARTERS,

Petersburg, February 21, 1865.

Honorable J. C. BRECKINRIDGE,

Secretary of War, Richmond:

I have had the honor to receive your letter of yesterday's date. I have repeated the orders to the commanding officers to remove and destroy everything in enemy's route. In the event of the necessity of abandoning our position on the James River, I shall endeavor to unite the corps of the army about Burkeville (junction of South side and Danville railroads), so as to retain communication with the north and south as long as practicable, and also with the west. I should think Lynchburg, or some point west, the most advantageous place to which to remove stores from Richmond. This, however, is a most difficult point at this time to decide, and the place may have to be changed by circumstances. It was my intention in my former letter to apply for General J. E. Johnston, that I might assign him to duty, should circumstances