General Schofield, was at Morehead City two weeks since, and from him I learned that a force of 6,000 men was to come here. I understood that it was to be one division of Schofield's corps. This arrangement must have been changed, however, for the Provisional Division of the Army of the Tennessee, under the command of General T. F. Meagher, has just arrived. This consists of about 5,000 men, composed of squads or detachments from nearly every regiment of your army, and no complete organization of any kind. There are with this some fifty officers only and after taking out the commanding officers of the brigades with the staff officers there is scarcely one officer to each 200 men, and the whole command is but a mob of men in uniform. However, general, I shalle try to put this force in a shape that will be useful. In the first place, I have determined to take all of the recruits, substitutes, and drafted men of the command and place them in the old organizations now serving here. These compose nearly one-half of the entire force. The remainder will then be in better shape to handle, and I shall try to find some more officers to attach temporarily to the division. At any rate, general we will do the best with the force we have, and I have no complaints to make. I thought it proper to inform you, however, of the condition of affairs. The railroad construction corps has arrived, and I fancy that their mission is no secret. It is pretty well understood among the people of these parts that your army will march northward through this State. I neglected to state that no wagons or transportation of any kind arrived with General Meagher's command. The Quartermaster-General informs me that in answer to my request he has ordered 100 wagons to be sent here. He says he presumes that General Schofield sent transportation with the troops lately arrived. This is not the case, and if it becomes necessary to move very soon we would be badly off, but we will do the best we can.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. N. PALMER
CITY POINT, VA., February 14, 1865.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
The Richmond Dispatch to-day has the following:
SHERMAN'S MOVEMENTS. - THE SITUATION IN SOUTH CAROLINA. - OFFICIAL DISPATCH FROM GENERAL HARDEE.
The military operations now going on in South Carolina are of the first importance to our cause, and naturally engross the attention of our people, to the exclusion of movements reported to be taking place elsewhere. Sherman has run through Georgia without meeting with any obstruction and it is expected, if he is to be checked at all, it must be done quickly. It is only within the past week that his movement against Branchville was clearly developed. Previous to that time it was not yet known certainly that he would not concentrate against Augusta or Charleston. It is now reported by telegraph that he has a column moving on Augusta, but this must be received as an unconfirmed rumor. We cannot contradict it, though at the same time we do not know that it is true. For the present all communication with Augusta is cut off, and we do not know what is going on there or in that neighborhood.
As concerns matters at Charleston and in the direction of Columbia our information is more definite. The enemy with a force of 3,000 men landed at Grimball's on James Island, last Friday, and drove in our pickets. Some skirmishing followed,