Latest from Richmond.


Description of its Defenses.

Official from War Dep't.

Sheridan has headed off Lee.

Probable Capture of his entire Force.

From Gen. Thomas' Cavalry.

New York Stock & Produce Market.


NEW YORK, April 6. — The Herald's correspondent from the late mansion of Jeff. Davis, Richmond, says that the evacuation of the city was seriously contemplated several days before it took place, but the final decision was not arrived at until Sunday p. m. last, when Lee telegraphed Davis that Grant had rendered the holding of the city by him impossible.

This telegram was read in the churches, and the departure of the leading rebels began at once, and was continued through the night.

Jeff. Davis left at 8 p.m. for Danville, and it is understood that the Government archives were sent to that place and to Weldon, North Carolina.

The city was fired by Gen. Ewell, and although Gen. Weitzel, on reaching the city, endeavored to subdue the flames, one-third of the city was destroyed.

Among the buildings burned were the War Department, Post Office, Treasury Department, and several churches, two banks and three newspaper offices.

It was understood to have been Lee's design to endeavor to reach Danville, Virginia, and there fortify and make another stand.

This plan, Sheridan's movement has frustrated, and Lee is now apparently endeavoring to get to Lynchburg.

A Herald dispatch, dated Russellville, Ala., 24th, with the cavalry column of Thomas' army, under Wilson, says the force consists of three divisions, and was soon to be joined by a fourth. Its destination was Selma, Montgomery and Mobile. The country, so far traveled contains only old men, women, children and negroes.

Provisions were plenty, and our foragers found no difficulty in obtaining supplies.

A few rebels appeared, and skirmished with the advance, but this was the only opposition me with.

On the 24th many rebel deserters had delivered themselves up.

The Herald's correspondent says the works in front of Richmond, consists of three strong lines, wholly enveloping the city.

The outer ones are continuous. The inner ones consisting of a series of strong redoubts and abattis forts.

All these mount upwards of three hundred guns, and would, had they been properly garrisoned, formed an almost impregnable series of defences.

Torpedoes were thickly strewn all over the ground, marked with little flags, for the safety of the rebels, but which they neglected to move in their hasty flight, and thus saved many of the lives of our men.

When marching into Richmond the 2d line was found nearly as strong as the first, with the exception as to the abattis and torpedoes.

The third line is just outside the edge of the town, situated on high ground. Those works like the others, mount heavy guns.

Jeff. Davis received Lee's dispatch to evacuate while in church. He took, on the train he escaped with, his horses and carriage, so as to take to the country in case the road was interrupted. He expressed himself as being yet determined not to give up, though it was certain he had but little hope left.

Extra Billy Smith did not leave till after midnight. He left his wife behind, as also did Gen. Lee. The news of the death of her son, W. H. F. Lee, in the late battles, had been received.

The legislature was in session as late as nine o'clock, Sunday night, when they started for Columbia, by the canal and the James river.

Breckinridge left the city as late as half-past six o'clock, Monday morning.

A large number of rebel officers were captured and paroled.

WASHINGTON, April 6 — 12 M.

Maj. Gen. Dix: — The following telegram announces the probable speedy destruction of Gen. Lee's entire army, if our troops get up in time to support Sheridan, who has headed off the enemy.

(Signed) E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

JUNCTION OF THE SOUTHSIDE AND DANVILLE RAILROAD, BURKSVILLE, VA., April 5 — 10 p.m. — Hon. E. M. Stanton, Sec'y of War: Lt. Gen. Grant received the following dispatch at 6:30 p.m., while on the way to this point, and at once proceeded to Gen. Sheridan's headquarters. Gen. Grant desired me to transmit the dispatch to you, and to say that the 6th corps, without doubt, reached Gen. Sheridan's position within an hour or two after the dispatch was written.

The 2d division of the 4th corps will encamp here to-night, and one division of the 25th army corps at Black and White station, south of the Southside railroad.

S. WILLIAMS, Brig. Gen.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY, JETTERSVILLE, April 5 — 2 p.m. — Lieut. Gen. Grant: I send you the enclosed letter which will give you an idea of the condition of the enemy and their whereabouts. I sent Gen. Davis' brigade this morning around on my left flank. He captured at Farmer's cross roads, five pieces of artillery, about 200 wagons, and eight or nine battle flags, and a number of prisoners.

The 2d army corps is now coming up. I wish you were here yourself. I feel confident of capturing the army of Northern Virginia, if we exert ourselves. I see no escape for Lee. I will put all my cavalry out on our left flank, except McKenzie, who is now on the right.

(Signed) P. H. SHERIDAN, Maj. Gen.


AMELIA COURT HOUSE, April 5. — Dear Mama: Our army is ruined, I fear. We are safe as yet. Shyron left us sick. John Taylor is well, I saw him yesterday. We are in line of battle this evening. Gen. Robert Lee is in the field near us. My trust is still in the justice of our cause, and God. Gen. Hill is killed. I saw Murray a few moments since. Bernard Territt, it is said, was taken prisoner, but may get out. I send this by a negro. Love to all.

From your devoted son,