suggest that those coming in and surrendering themselves voluntarily be left somewhat to my discretion. Many boys of fifteen or sixteen have been persuaded to leave home and join these lawless bands, who would be glad to surrender themselves to the authorities if assured of lenient treatment.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. WARD,
Lieutenant Colonel Twenty-seventh Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, Commanding Post.
NASHVILLE, TENN., January 26, 1865.
COMMANDING OFFICER, Johnsonville:
Colonel Palmer, Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, telegraph that about fifty of Lyon's men left Paint Rock Valley five days ago, to endeavor to cross the Tennessee about fifty miles from Johnsonville, and thing the gun-boats might look after them.
B. H. POLK,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
DECATUR, ALA., January 26, 1865.
Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,
Commander of the U. S. Armies:
GENERAL: In accordance with the wren permission given me at Washington on November 23 last, I beg leave to make the following report. It was impossible to have done so before this on account of Hood's advance and the consequent interruption of railroad communication. I did not see General Roddey in person (as he declined meeting me just then for prudential reasons), but he had and another rebel general of great influence, whose name I am not permitted to divulge at this time, sent out Major McGaughy, Roddey's brother-in-law and his chief of staff, to hold a conference with me on the road leading to Moulton. He frankly admitted to me that of the Confederacy were in a hopeless condition, and that the people were anxious to know the best terms which could be given to Alabama in case of an immediate popular movement for reconstruction. He stated that there was a universal anxiety to have the war come to a close with or without Jeff. Davis' consent, if some reasonable terms could be extended to the people in the disposition ot their slaves. If a plan of general emancipation, to be consummated, say within fifteen years, were adopted, he thought that it would be a satisfactory basis for adjustment. As I had no terms to offer except those known through the public prints, the conference ended, to be resumed upon my hearing from Washington. Should the answer be a favorable one, steps will be immediately taken to communicated with Governor Watts first, and should no result come from it, to make a movement, civil and military, to immediately organize a State government for North Alabama, which will include three-fourths of the State. I make these statements at the request of some of the most influential public men residing on the south side of the Tennessee River. The chief difficulties in the way of reconstruction in Alabama are the following: First, rebel, soldiers; second, slavery. Minor obstructions, such as pride, perverted patriotism, sympathy for friends in the army, &c., it is believed have vanished before the victorious progress of our arms. There are but few rebel soldiers now in North Alabama, but a squad in a county is sufficient to check any popular movement outside