the woods to the French house. They left before day. Citizens report this route as practical one. It will be necessary for you to caution your pickets to use greater vigilance. If a party as large as forty-five could safely make this trip and return it must be the result of carelessness of those in immediately charge of the pickets.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
February 27, 1865.
Major R. P. DUNCAN,
MAJOR: One man from Ransom's brigade mortally wounded. Eighteen desertions from Elliott's, one from Ransom's and one from Gracie's, to the enemy; also one from Ransom's to the rear. Two deserters from the enemy came in on the line of Gracie's brigade last night. This information seems not to be reliable or very definite, as they came on the line in our front only about three weeks ago. They stated that they heard no talk of any contemplated attack on the part of the enemy, but they are on the alert looking for any movement we may make. They say that there are many troops in the rear of the Ninth Corps, but d not know what troops they are. They say that there are some rumors among the enemy to the effect that preparations are going on to evacuate our present line. The inclosed printed orders were picked up near our picket-line.
Very respectfully, yours,
B. R. JOHNSON,
RICHMOND, VA., February 28, 1865.
General ROBERT E. LEE,
Commanding, &c., Petersburg, Va.:
GENERAL: You will learn by the letter of General Longstreet the result of his second interview with General Ord. The point as to whether yourself or General Grant should invite the other to a conference is not worth discussing. If you think the statements of General Ord render it probably useful that the conference suggested should be had, you will proceed as you may prefer, and are clothed with all the supplemental authority you may need in the consideration of any proposition for a military convention or the appointment of a commission to enter into such an arrangement as will cause at least temporary suspension of hostilities.
Very truly, yours,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
February 28, 1865.
Honorable JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,
Secretary of War, Richmond:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 25th instant with reference to removal of stores, &c., from Rich