Lee Opposing Sherman.
NEW YORK, Feb. 27. — The Herald's James river correspondent states that Gen. Lee has gone southward to conduct the operation of opposing Sherman, leaving Joe Johnston in command at Richmond and Petersburg.
A large portion of the rebel army around Richmond had, on Saturday last, been under marching orders for several days, and a considerable number of rebel troops are believed to have been dispatched to act against Sherman.
The reports of Lee's designs to shortly abandon Petersburg and Richmond, are repeated by deserters now, and that notice has been given by him to the people of the former place, to have their tobacco and other stores removed within four days. They say that nearly all the artillery has been taken from the Petersburg batteries, only sufficient being left to keep up appearances.
Heavy artillery practice, continuing for several hours, was indulged in on Thursday and Friday last, by the opposing armies in front of Petersburg. The casualties however, were few, and the firing appears to have had no result of importance.
Of the large stream of rebel deserters coming into the Union lines, averaging at least one hundred daily, a large proportion bring with them their arms and equipments, and the cavalry men bring in their horses.
Since the fall of Charleston, South Carolina troops, in large numbers, have joined the deserting throng.
The Richmond Sentinel of last Friday, had a report that Gen. Grant was again marching on the Vaughan road.
Gen. Singleton and Judge Hughes, en route from Washington to Richmond, arrived at City Point on Saturday last.