HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, SIGNAL DEPT.,
May 3, 1864.
[General A. A. HUMPHREYS:]
GENERAL: I have the honor to forward the following reports:
I visited the river front this a. m. between Jacobs' and Morton's Fords. Couldn't see any signs of a general movement of the rebel army, but our vedettes say that an unusual commotion prevailed in the rebel camp. They burned immense fires all night and sounded the long roll at 2 this a. m. Their pickets fired a few shots across the river.
Captain and Signal Officer.
Also the following from Stony Mountain:
All quiet. The enemy still engaged on works in rear of Dr. Morton's house. Three small works at intervals of about 100 yards being constructed this a. m. near Dr. Morton's.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. F. FISHER,
Captain and Acting Chief Signal Officer.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
OFFICE OF CHIEF QUARTERMASTER,
Camp near Brandy Station, Va., May 3, 1864.
General M. C. MEIGS,
Q. M. General, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to send you herewith copies of some orders which will show you the character of our movements. The order of General Meade is confidential for the present. This army is equipped and thoroughly supplied in every particular, so far as I can ascertain. There is a supply of sixteen days' subsistence and ten of forage on hand to-day. I have grain now in cars to fill up the wagons at the last moment. I have broken up most of our depots along the railroad this side of the Rappahannock, and have arranged for the vacation of them all at the proper moment. I suspect that Burnside will not leave Brandy Station entirely before late on the 5th. Mr. E. l. Wentz, in charge of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, has had an interview to-day with General Burnside and myself, and is fully aware of what he should do.
I have sent a few (three) of the principal depot quartermasters to the vicinity of Alexandria, with their employes, property, & c., to remain there until it is known where next to establish them. I beg you will not permit them to be interfered with, as it is of vital importance that they are prepared to take posts at new depots at a moment's notice from me. I shall try to keep you advised of our movements and wants. I hope we shall not be compelled to call for supplies on the Pamunkey. It is, in my opinion, almost as practicable at this time to supply an army by way of Culpeper to Richmond as from West Point or White House. I trust we shall be able soon to take our supplies up the James River. The West Point railroad could then be put in order at leisure. I wish to call your attention again to the subject of forage. I am informed that there is only an inconsiderable amount on hand, and that our sole reliance is to be in the arrangements of the purchasing officer in New York City.
23 R R - VOL XXXVI, PT II