War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0725 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter XLVIII.

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[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

June 10, 1864-11 p.m.

Respectfully forwarded.

I agree with General Ingalls in the suggestion that Lieutenant-Colonel Biggs be directed to prepare the necessary transportation. In regard to the suggestion that the command, should be embarked at the White House, as it is only contemplated embarking infantry, I should think the shorter water route, from Cole's Ferry to Bermuda Hundred, would cause the operation to be greatly hastened, although the facilities may not be so good for embarking the troops.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT,

June 10, 1864.

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: Six deserters were forwarded this a.m. from the headquarters of the Fifth Army Corps. They are from Ransom's brigade of Ransom's division, and make the following statement: Five of them belong to the Forty-ninth North Carolina Regiment, and deserted their picket-post at 9 o'clock last night, near the railroad bridge crossing the Chickahominy. They state that their brigade is about three-quarters of a mile back of the swamp extending across and below the railroad toward Bottom's Bridge. One of them, from the Thirty-fourth North Carolina, of the same brigade, crossed an hour later, and states that his company was unexpectedly relieved about 10 o'clock last night by the Twenty-second North Carolina Regiment, and it was understood the brigade had marching orders, and was going to the south side of the James River; also that it had been rumored for several days in camp that Butler was pressing toward Petersburg, and the brigade would have to be sent there. This brigade consists of five North Carolina regiments, commanded by Brigadier General M. W. Ransom. Major General Robert Ransom commands a division, consisting of M. W. Ransom's brigade, Elzey's reserves (scattering city battalions, Richmond home guards, &c.), and a command of cavalry, Butler's (South Carolina) brigade.

These men have little knowledge of what is going on here, as their brigade left North Carolina a short time ago and arrived in our front last week. They represent their regiment as about 400 for duty, and think it the largest in the brigade. One of the best informed says they have about 1,800 for duty. They form the extreme right of the infantry line, and are joined by Butler's brigade of cavalry. Elzey's brigade is in their rear nearer the city. They have erected slight works, about three-fourths of a mile to the rear of the Chickahominy, along their line, but have taken no position that they expect to hold. They are joined on the left by Hoke's command, they think, Clingman's brigade, which they know little or nothing about. They give a very accurate description of the railroad battery, which is a 64-pounder rifled gun, mounted upon a strong wooden car, the front of which is heavily plated on an angle protecting the gun and wheels of the car. The gun is fired through an opening or port, and