make, if we make any. From behind and north of Taylor's house, southwardly, crossing the old works, positions must be carefully marked or as many field batteries as can be brought onto the space. Where there are woods roads must be cut, so they can be brought to the edge of the works and deployed near the salient mortars' places. The positions of which I speak (and they are the same mentioned ten days ago) enfilade and take in reverse the enemy's lines across the Jerusalem road, and counterbatter his lines in front of Burnside. The artillery should be brought into position suddenly and open fire, and keep it up until the enemy's fire is silenced; 100 guns should be used; the mortars near the salient to keep up fire until our troops reach the rebel lines. Two corps massed in successive lines should assault and all the rest be ready to follow up. I have never commanded troops, and do not pretend that I could direct these details, or say exactly what they should be; but such things have been done, and I believe could be done here.
J. G. BARNARD,
Brigadier-General and Chief Engineer.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT,
July 2, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: A deserter from the Ninth Florida was received this morning from the Sixth Corps. He is from Finegan's brigade, of Mahone's division. He states that Mahone's division moved down the railroad yesterday morning at 2 o'clock. It is understood the object was to drive our men off from the railroad. Hampton's cavalry went in advance of the division as far as Reams' Station and returned, reporting that our forces had left. The infantry were about seven miles from Petersburg when informant left. He does not know whether they went farther south or not, but thinks they returned to camp. He heard that some general told General Mahone that he could not march his troops down to Reams' Station three times a day, and that General Mahone replied that he thought he could; that he would try it any way. Informant states that his brigade (Finegan's), together with Wilcox's old brigade, went down to Reams' Station a few days ago, at the time of the fight with Wilson's cavalry, and returned with a number of prisoners, broken down horses, wagons, &c.; how many he cannot say; and that this movement of yesterday, at 2 a.m., was a second expedition in the same direction. They moved on a road about half a mile to the west of the Weldon railroad. The Richmond papers state that 1,200 prisoners were taken from Wilson, together with all his artillery, 8 or 10 guns, and a large number of horses. Deserters from Scales' brigade, of Wilcox's division, stated yesterday that their brigade had orders to move at 2 o'clock from their part of the line (about a mile east of the Weldon railroad) down to the railroad. This may have been to occupy the portion of the line vacated by Mahone's division.
GEORGE H. SHARPE,